Tackling unique challenges at Dubai

Dubai International recorded 12.4% year-on-year growth and handled around 33 million passengers in the first 8 months of 2012, making it one of the world’s fastest growing airports.

The Customer

Dubai Air Navigation Services

The Problem

Dubai International recorded 12.4% year-on-year growth and handled around 33 million passengers in the first 8 months of 2012, making it one of the world's fastest growing airports. The aggressive growth strategies of airlines such as Emirates and flydubai stimulated demand, particularly during peak arrival and departure periods – so that further airport capacity increases were needed.

Role of Helios

Helios completed a project for Dubai Air Navigation Services to develop an ATM strategy to help meet forecast traffic growth in partnership with Dubai Airport.

Whilst airport capacity can be constrained for many reasons, the most significant constraint at Dubai was the runway − and resolving runway capacity at Dubai was particularly challenging. As well as ever increasing demand, there were a number of other obstacles to overcome, some of which were unique to Dubai:

  • The airport is located in complex airspace close to several Flight Information Region (FIR) boundaries and in close proximity to several other major airports.
  • It also suffers from testing environmental conditions which, when combined with the two closely spaced runways and a unique traffic mix − including the largest A380 operation in the world − posed a significant challenge in achieving optimal runway utilisation during peak traffic periods.

Results

Helios' operational and technical experts worked closely with Dubai Air Navigation Services, the airport and airlines to support the development of an ATM strategy and a costed programme aligned to the airport's own strategic plan. Amongst other solutions, the strategy exploited optimised wake vortex sequencing and dual arrivals on closely spaced parallel runways.

To meet capacity and maintain Dubai as an innovative international airport, the programme included new initiatives in safety, flight efficiency and the environment. The key deliverable from Helios' airport economics team was a demonstration of the likely costs and benefits of the operation, programmes and individual projects to different stakeholders.

For further information on this project please contact Alan Corner.

Call us to discuss your next project: +44 1252 451 651

Contact us