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Dubai may delay opening of new passenger airport

DUBAI, Dec 7 – Dubai Airports said on Tuesday it may delay the scheduled March opening of a passenger terminal at a new airport as it unveiled plans to expand capacity at its old airport to 90 million passengers by 2018.

"We are currently reviewing the master plan for the new airport," the CEO of Dubai Airports, Paul Griffith, told reporters.

"With everything going on time and according to schedule, we are reviewing the opening date for the new terminal and we may push it a little just to get everything right," he said.

But the opening would still take place before the end of 2011. "We are talking just months … It looks though that it is going to be later in the year," Griffith said.

In June, the Gulf city state opened Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International Airport, touted to become the world\’s largest when completed. It has so far been confined to cargo.

The airports chief also unveiled plans to expand the capacity of Dubai International Airport to 90 million passengers a year by 2018, from 60 million at present.

"We are about to unveil an expensive master plan for this airport," he said on the sidelines of a Middle East Business Aviation show. "It will give us a big increase in capacity to 90 million by 2018."

He said the current capacity of 60 million passengers would rise to 75 million when concourse three opens in 2012.

"The growth here is going to be very strong and it will take the pressure off us having to complete Al-Maktoum airport in quite the timescale we were looking at before," he added.

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