Dubai Air Show

New Engineering Center Under Construction

 - December 7, 2006, 5:07 AM

Emirates Airline is constructing a new engineering center, engine test facility and headquarters–all of which it expects to open by January 2007. The $353 million engineering center will sit on a 136-acre site on the north side of Dubai International Airport and rank as one of the biggest civil aviation maintenance facilities in the world.

The center will feature seven fully air-conditioned hangars for heavy and light maintenance, each just over 124,000 sq ft in size, and a paint shop. Emirates’ existing engineering center encompasses three smaller hangars.

Plans call for every bay to be big enough to accommodate any size airplane, including the A380. Each unit will incorporate a mezzanine docking system for easy access to the aircraft’s second deck, while two hangars employ full fuselage docking systems designed for heavy maintenance. The design shows all hangars and some workshops equipped with roof-mounted cranes.

Outside the hangars, the engineering center will have nine dedicated aircraft parking bays with refueling facilities. In addition to stores, workshops, an office block and multi-story parking for 1,500 cars, the new center will include a security building and the Emirates Engineering Training School, slated for relocation from its present home in the Emirates Aviation College.

Meanwhile, Emirates has also begun building near Dubai a new 64,585-sq-ft jet engine test facility–one of the world’s largest and the only one of its size in the Middle East. Due for completion in January 2007, it will house a 43-foot cross-section jet engine test cell and an auxiliary power unit test cell capable of testing engines with up to 150,000 pounds of thrust, including the Rolls-Royce Trent 500, 700 and 800 engine series, the Engine Alliance GP7000 and General Electric GE90-115B engines and the Honeywell GTCP331-350, GTCP331-500 and GTCP331-600 auxiliary power units.

Finally, construction has started on a new $191 million headquarters for the Emirates Group, scheduled for completion next summer. To house Emirates management and 3,500 staff, the new home of Dubai’s biggest company will connect with Dubai International Airport via a tunnel. Designs show parking spaces for 3,000 vehicles, two bus stops and taxi ranks. The group’s employees now work at over 19 facilities in Dubai and other sites in the United Arab Emirates.