Etihad Airways has officially opened a new state-of-the-art Crew Briefing Centre (CBC) at its hub in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.
The purpose-built crew terminal, the first built by the airline, is the most advanced of its kind in the region. It is fitted with leading-edge baggage handling systems, electronic check-in kiosks, security and customs scanning equipment and E-gate facilities for immigration control.
The airline aims to provide user-friendly technology and convenience to its 2,250 flight crew and approximately 5,800 cabin crew during the check-in and briefing processes prior to boarding their flights. Operating crews will be provided with up-to-date flight information such as flight plans, weather reports, destination information, service protocol and passenger data, for review at dedicated briefing areas within the CBC.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are tremendously proud to open this spectacular facility, which has been designed and built to provide our operating crew, and those of our partner airlines, with the latest technological advances and the utmost convenience.
“The Crew Briefing Centre will allow us to meet the challenges of an ever-transforming business and to meet the phenomenal growth of both Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi well into the future. This will be particulary important in the period leading up to the opening of the new Midfield Terminal.”
The technology used in the CBC will allow operating crews to start their travel from home by using their phones and tablet devices to connect to the centre, providing the airline with a higher degree of visibility to guarantee a seamless operation. On their journey to the airport, the crew member will receive real-time information about the flight and the airline will recieve up-to-date information about the crew’s expected arrival time at the airprort.
Located adjacent to Terminal 1 at Abu Dhabi Airport, the expansive new facility measures approximately 88,264 ft² set over two floors, consisting of a steel frame structure with a bespoke cladding system reflecting Etihad Airways’ ‘Facets of Abu Dhabi’ corporate design, and features branded fleet and product renders throughout the building, with a superior high quality finish. The contract for the building of the CBC was awarded to leading British construction firm McLaren, which operates from its two UAE bases located in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
The terminal features 20 fully-equipped pilot and cabin crew briefing rooms, four of which can be joined to accommodate larger Airbus A380 crews.
Etihad Airways has opened three crew lounges within the CBC. The luxurious Landside Lounge, located on the first floor, is equipped with complimentary WiFi, Mac Book computers, hot and cold beverage stations, and shower facilities. The smaller Airside Lounge is equipped with the same facilities with the exception of showers. The airline has also provided a landside Quiet Room where crew can relax in a calm environment before they commence their duties.
The CBC boasts laundry and dry-cleaning services, a mail room and a 24 hour coffee shop serving light meals and snacks. A dedicated duty-free outlet will open within the arrivals hall.
The Guest Services department, which oversees the airline’s cabin crew, has relocated its Performance Managers to the CBC to enhance communication between cabin crew and management, providing access to the latest updates, information and advice. An employee service desk providing Human Resource assistance and travel information has also been set up at the centre.
The CBC was completed with the cooperation and support received from Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), which released the necessary land required, and which was instrumental in expediting the approval of the appropriate permits necessary for the construction of the facility.
The CBC is an airside / landside facility which also accommodates government entities such as Police, Customs, Immigration and State Security, and meets all specific health and safety requirements set by the relevant authorities.