Dubai International Airport has opened the first-ever concourse designated for use by A380 aircraft. The concourse, airport officials say, is the first "purpose-built" facility for the big plane. Called Concourse A, the terminal has 20 gates and is designed to accommodate the passenger mix as much as the aircraft itself. The 528,000-square-meter facility is part of a $7.8 billion upgrade of Dubai International, which its operators says will become the world's busiest airport by 2015.
There are 11 floors in the building and one is dedicated to the first- and business-class lounges for passengers booked in those seats. It's a standalone facility connected to the main terminal by underground train. Although it will be used by dozens of A380 operators, it's expected Dubai's own Emirates Airlines will get the most use out of it. Emirates will be the largest A380 operator in the world when it finishes taking delivery of all of its 90 aircraft. It's already flying 31 A380s.