Abu Dhabi Airports Company (Adac) has set itself a strict timeline to complete its new Midfield Terminal at the emirate’s international airport.

Speaking during a site visit, Adac chief executive officer Tony Douglas said the terminal would open on 17 July 2017. “Failure is unacceptable,” he added. 

With other GCC airports expanding and opening new terminals, vying to become global transport hubs, it will be crucial for Abu Dhabi to stick to its deadline. The new terminal will also add much-needed capacity for Abu Dhabi’s rapidly growing Etihad Airways.

To ensure the project stays on schedule, Adac decided to publicly announce a major construction milestone on 20 October, when the first buttress that will support the steel arches holding up the terminal’s roof was put in place, seven days ahead of schedule.

Douglas’ focus on deadlines will inevitably be influenced by the need to avoid a debacle like the one at Qatar’s new Hamad International airport, which is running years behind its original schedule. He will also be conscious of the emirate’s competition with neighbouring Dubai, which is due to open the passenger terminal at the new Al-Maktoum airport on 27 October.

The decision to publicly mark key milestones will expose Adac to even more scrutiny. If the company fails to deliver on its pledges, they will come back to haunt it in the future.