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Midfield Terminal Complex, Abu Dhabi

Ensuring safe and smooth operations

The Abu Dhabi International Midfield Terminal Complex has one of the largest terminal buildings in the world. Abu Dhabi Airports Company is tasked to ensure that the airport, homebase of Etihad Airways, is able to provide world-class services that meet the demands over the upcoming years. This task covers the implementation of many systems over a 650.000 m2 complex, accommodating 50+ aircraft stands and handle a flow of approximately 40 million passengers per year. Deerns designed the airport telecommunication systems, passenger handling and security systems and apron services to ensure a safe and smooth operation. 

Award-winning airports company
Abu Dhabi Airports is an award-winning airports company, created in 2006 to spearhead the development of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi’s aviation infrastructure. Abu Dhabi Airports is an integral partner in the Government of Abu Dhabi’s Strategic Plan 2030. The construction of the Midfield Terminal Complex (MTC) and overall expansion of Abu Dhabi International Airport, including new runways in their South Airfield project, are vital to enable the diversification of the Emirate’s economy by fostering growth in other industries through increased connectivity.

Exceptional passenger experience

The centrepiece of Abu Dhabi Airports’ multibillion-dollar investment program is the Midfield Terminal Complex, which will be comprised of a terminal building, passenger and cargo facilities. The Midfield Terminal Building will accommodate up to 40 million passengers per year, keeping the gateway to the United Arab Emirates open 24/7, 365 days per year, while providing an exceptional passenger experience for the next 40 years. The Midfield Terminal Building has a state-of-the-art design to optimize passenger flows and offer a high-end passenger experience. The complexity and size of the terminal requires a logical and unambiguous design of operational and security systems. Technology is key to ensure a safe, efficient and smooth operation, while passengers experience a high service level. 

Integration of operational systems

Deerns’ invitation to be part of the design team was for our specific expertise related to the integration of operational systems, passenger handling and aircraft handling at the gate. This requires data sharing between the various  systems, including   security in the terminal. Deerns had the important responsibility to design the Terminals’ telecommunication and Security Systems as well as the Aircraft Handling Systems on the aprons. From conceptual design Deernswent further providing detailing for tender review and site consultancy. The complexity of this project lies in its exceptional size and ambition to offer the highest comfort level for passengers. 

Optimising the passenger experience

Different types of passengers, waiting times and que positioning were considered when configuring equipment and placing fixed furniture. Top of mind was the passenger experience hand in hand with optimised passenger flows. This informed the  positioning of check-in desks, self-service check-in points, baggage drop-off points and security screening equipment. Operational and Security systems were fitted seamlessly to complement the interior design.  

Deerns helps with a high-end passenger experience

Airport telecommunications

Deerns took on the challenge of combining the airport’s ICT network and systems with the infrastructure of one of the world’s largest terminal buildings. The converged network is the infrastructure backbone of the airport operational systems. Deerns integrated all operational IT systems from check-in to boarding for quick high level passenger service, for fast turn around at passenger queue points. 

Security systems terminal

Safe and secure operations should complement high level passenger service. Deerns applied high density camera coverage on the entire terminal area with state-of-the-art surveillance cameras. The supporting video analytic system only selects security-relevant images thereby reducing the amount of  operative staff. A future-proof engineering solution was created by integrating all systems for monitoring from a single management system, combining data from cameras, access control and safety systems such as fire alarm to support monitoring and automatically generate alarms for security. Special attention is given to alarm and evacuation of the building to ensure the safety of all passengers and staff. 

Apron design services

Deerns applied the ‘Clean Apron Concept’ to ensure a safe and clean aircraft handling operation, mitigating the risk on incidents by reducing the amount of equipment on the apron. This concept features underground aircraft handling systems, such as Aircraft Ground Power (400Hz), Pre-Conditioned Air and Fuel. An additional benefit is that protects the equipment it from extreme weather and sandstorms that occur regularly in this climate.  

High-end passenger experience

The operational and security systems in the Terminal contribute to a flexible and extendable airport terminal building which can be operated smoothly and ensures the health, safety and well-being of passengers and staff, while enhancing the passenger experience to a level that matches the expectations of home base carrier Etihad Airways.

Deerns made critical contributions to the safe, efficient and smooth running of the Abu Dhabi International Midfield Terminal Complex. The immense Apron Field features 65 E/F-stands that can accommodate 10 Airbus 380 and 50 Boeing 747 aircraft, ensuring a safe and clean aircraft handling operation. Deerns provided the airport stands with services such as Passenger Boarding Bridges, parking aids, ground power and pre-conditioned air.  

Within the next few years, 20 million people are expected to use Abu Dhabi International Airport as their origin, destination or transit point for international and domestic journeys, an Emirate-wide strategy to cater for Abu Dhabi’s business and tourism growth.

Let’s talk

Matthias Pöter

Sector Director Airports