Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) will spend AED500m ($136.1m) to increase passenger handling capacity at Abu Dhabi International Airport by 75% over the next two years.
The move comes as an interim measure to enhance the handling capacity of the airport considering the significant growth of Etihad Airways at Terminal 3 after just two years in operation.
Etihad vice president of airport and network operations Chris Youlten said Etihad’s growth has put enormous pressure on the airport.
ADAC chief development officer Haytham Haidar said a capacity enhancement programme will be implemented to increase the throughput potential of the airport from 12 million passengers a year to 20 million.
The upgrade will serve as a stopgap measure until the opening of the proposed $6.8bn Midfield Terminal, which will become the permanent home of Etihad.
The X-shaped terminal will feature 50m-high ceilings, have initial capacity of 27 million passengers a year, and will open between 2015 and 2016, according to The National.