Emirates Terminal 3, Dubai Airport

World’s largest airport trials

Central to the success of the ORAT work at Terminal 3 was the trials programme. Comprising more than 60 trials over a period of six months and involving over 3,500 public volunteers and 13,000 bags, it was the largest ever airport trials programme.

Drawing on previous ORAT experience and working alongside consultants from the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, Arup consulted 13 key stakeholders, including Emirates, Dubai Airports, Dnata, the police and immigration services, to understand their roles throughout each phase of the project and beyond. The ORAT team mapped out passenger journeys, anticipated possible problems and looked at how staff reacted to incidents.

Trials were segregated into three categories: fallback, basic and advanced. These replicated actual airport conditions at peak times and tested a number of different scenarios. Each trial was followed by analysis reports and feedback to the stakeholders, enabling them to take appropriate action to ensure the correct processes were implemented and suitable training was provided.

Arup looked at various possible fault scenarios, such as check-in systems faults, power outages, reactions to alarms, computer server or network failures and partial baggage system failures. This approach paid off on the opening day, as all systems operated as expected. After the first aircraft arrived at the terminal, passengers disembarked, were efficiently processed and baggage was on the carousel within 14 minutes.

  • Emirates Terminal 3 at Dubai Airport is the world’s largest terminal building.Open gallery

    Emirates Terminal 3 at Dubai Airport is the world’s largest terminal building.

  • Emirates Terminal 3 at Dubai Airport is the world’s largest terminal building.Open gallery

    The team conducted the largest ever trials for a new terminal building.