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High fliers

Spending on airport projects in the GCC has been massive

Stuart Matthews, Senior Group Editor.
Stuart Matthews, Senior Group Editor.

Spending on airport projects in the GCC has been massive over the last five years.

Driven by a desire for economic diversification and teamed with brand-building national airlines, GCC airports have been an integral part of making GCC cities into regional business hubs.

Increasing passenger and freight figures, plus the enthusiasm for the giant Airbus A380, have helped push Gulf cities into developing larger and more modern airports. The long and low profiles of an airport passenger terminal, being built in just about every city near you, are the outward signs of development.

Less obvious are all the supporting works which go along with those buildings. From cargo to catering, engineering, fuel stores, runways and aprons, the modern airport is a large and complex combination of resources. But when was the last time you noticed all of this?

When traveling through an airport, I normally do so with anxious haste. There are always miles to walk, then it is dodge the perfume sprayers, the money changers, the floor sleepers and the inevitable slow-moving phalanx of old people looking for a distant gate.

But in truth there is much more to an airport than the things you try to avoid, or simply rush past. A quick look at the contracts awarded over the last five years reveals a world of detailed and technical construction packages, which must look to every detail of access, comfort, security and overall safety.

With all the usual fuss that is associated with flying it can be easy to miss the efforts of the industry that continues to build some of the nicest and newest airports in the world. It is an effort that should be applauded, even if you do not always appreciate it.

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May 04, 2020