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Regulatory authorities require that airport developments incorporate stormwater drainage systems as a means of ensuring public safety. These systems are also essential to the efficiency of flight operations and other ancillary facilities. Dubai International Airport, located in the United Arab Emirates, is currently undergoing a US 540 million expansion. The airport expansion plans require a stormwater management strategy that meets international regulatory authority requirements, addresses several time-sensitive milestones, and remains cost-effective.

Although Dubai has a desert climate, sporadic rainstorms have inundated essential areas and partially crippled airport operations in the past. The fundamental concept for stormwater management was to design a system that would achieve the minimum drainage requirements and also provide a multitude of management options that can address the unpredictability of desert-climate storms. Moreover, new construction associated with the expansion will more than double the amount of impervious areas. Therefore, the relatively minor storms that disrupted the airport operations in the past could be quite devastating when additional paved areas are constructed.

The design of stormwater drainage facilities for the Dubai International Airport presented a unique challenge. The design needed to recognize the infrequency of desert-climate storm events and still meet international transportation standards and guidelines. The conventional facilities originally envisioned would have been too large and costly to implement. A more efficient approach, one that would minimize the size and cost of facilities, was required. The stormwater masterplan preliminary study for the Dubai airport expansion proved to be the key in reducing the overall cost by establishing the ultimate methodology for stormwater management over the entire 2,000-hectare site.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-01-01

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