Abu Dhabi Airports (Adac) has reported a 6.6 per cent rise in the number of passengers passing through the Abu Dhabi International Airport (ADIA) between January and June 2016, compared with the same period in 2015.

Passengers passing through the airport reached 11.85 million during the first six months of 2016, compared with 11.1 million over the corresponding period in 2015.

Total aircraft movements at ADIA, however, declined slightly from 84,938 to 84,488 during the same period, according to a statement published by Adac.

Cargo handled by the airport also declined, by 6 per cent, from an estimated 414,000 metric tonnes in the first six months of 2015 to 389,000 on the first six months of 2016.

In terms of passengers, Terminal 1 is understood to have posted the most significant increase, with passengers reaching 4,790,469, marking a 22 per cent growth from 3,918,322 in 2015.

“We are encouraged by the figures from the six months of 2016, which demonstrate continued growth year-on-year,” said Abdul Majeed al-Khoori, Adac acting CEO. Al-Khoori added that he expects consistent increases in passenger traffic given Abu Dhabi’s status as an international hub for both commerce and tourism.

ADIA is the UAE’s second largest airport after Dubai International. It served 23.3 million passengers through its three terminals in 2015. This marks a 17 per cent increase in passenger traffic compared to 2014. It also exceeds the existing airport’s design capacity of 17.5 million.

A two-phased expansion of the existing airport is ongoing, with the objective of bringing the current capacity to 32 million passengers a year.

The under-construction, $2.9bn Midfield Terminal Complex (MTC), is currently being built between the ADIA’s two runways and is expected to be completed by 2017.

The MTC has suffered a series of delays since the project was first launched in 2005, but once ready it will deliver an additional capacity of 20 million passengers a year.