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Dubai Airports CEO slams UK airport development

Dubai Airport CEO believes recently approved London Heathrow expansion project "50 years too late."

Dubai International Airport has already overtaken London Heathrow in regards to passenger traffic.
Dubai International Airport has already overtaken London Heathrow in regards to passenger traffic.

The U.K.’s government’s decision to expand London Heathrow Airport may not come to be a reality in at least the next decade, according to the chief executive officer of Dubai Airports.

Currently head of the massive Al Maktoum International Airport project in Dubai South, Paul Griffiths told Bloomberg TV in an interview that he believes the recent green light to expand London Heathrow with the $19.4bn (AED71.6bn) construction of a third landing strip is “50 years too late.”

“Unfortunately the bureaucracy in the U.K. seems to be the world’s most refined and the world’s most comprehensive when it comes to strangling infrastructure projects,” he said.

“Whether they’ll ever build it or not we’ll just have to wait and see, but I don’t think it will be in the next 10 years.’’

Though he believes that approving the runway project is the “right decision”, he still believes that the U.K.’s track record on delivering projects on time and within budget isn’t “great,” according to a Bloomberg report.

With Dubai International Airport expected to become the world’s busiest within this decade, Al Maktoum International Airport is revving up development to increase its current capacity of 7 million passengers a year to 26 million in 2017.

Dubai International Airport has already overtaken Heathrow Airport in regards to passenger traffic, with numbers climbing to 83 million this year from 78 million in 2015, Griffiths said earlier this month. The airport expects 90 million people to use the facility next year.

 

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Construction Week - Issue 754
Nov 23, 2019