The Emirate of Abu Dhabi has embarked on a strategy of economic diversification. In addition to the creation of world-class cultural venues this requires the development of the aviation sector. Focal points in that are the establishment of a new national carrier, Etihad, and the development of Abu Dhabi International Airport into a world-class facility. The centrepiece of ADAC’s multibillion-dollar investment program is the Midfield Terminal Complex (MTC), capable of handling some 40 million passengers per annum. The Midfield Terminal, designed by a team led by KPF architects, will provide unparalleled passenger experience and services levels.
In the KPF team, Deerns has been tasked with the design of security and information technology systems for the Midfield Terminal and associated buildings, as well as the design of all systems required to service the aircraft at the aprons. Involvement of Deerns started with supporting KPF in an architectural design competition and has continued into the construction stage with permanent on-site presence from top consultants.
The Midfield Terminal Building is provided with a converged network which forms the infrastructure for all systems that are used for airport operation. To achieve a high service level for passengers, it was essential in the design to ensure that all IT systems that are used from check-in to boarding are integrated so that queues are minimized, and all processes can be done quickly. Special attention is given to all items that are visible in the terminal; the design and configuration is done in close coordination with the architect so every item fits well in the interior design.
Terminal Security Systems
Aviation has been the target of terrorist activities many times. This has led to the need for extensive security measures with screening of passengers and baggage, but equally of staff and goods. Deerns has worked with the client and architect to ensure maximum security whilst minimizing the impact of the passenger experience. State-of-the-art access control and camera surveillance are integrated into the facilities.
In order to have safe aircraft ground handling and to minimize the environmental impact, the airside systems design is based on the ‘Clean Apron Concept’. This concept features underground aircraft handling systems such as Aircraft Ground Power (400 Hz), Pre-Conditioned Air and Fuel. It provides maximum levels of service whilst avoiding the use of the, very polluting, Auxiliary Power Unit (APU). Moreover, the pioneering implementation of sub-freezing PCA helps keep the aircraft interior temperature to comfortable levels, even the in the sweltering heat of the Abu Dhabi summers.