Midfield Terminal Building – Abu Dhabi Airport

Midfield Terminal Building – Abu Dhabi Airport

Midfield Terminal Building (MTB) is a new terminal at Abu Dhabi International Airport in the United Arab Emirates.
The terminal is currently under construction and is expected to open in 2023. It will have the capacity to handle up to 45 million passengers per year, and will feature a range of amenities such as duty-free shopping, dining options, and lounges. The terminal is being built to be energy efficient and environmentally friendly, with features such as solar panels and a rainwater harvesting system.
The enormous collection area of the MTB terminal building created a very real risk of being struck by lightning and getting the lightning protection, and earthing design right is key. The risks of an airport being struck by lightning are:

  • Structural damage: Lightning strikes can cause significant structural damage to buildings, including airport roofs. This could include cracking or melting of structural components, which could compromise the integrity of the roof and potentially lead to collapse.
  • Electrical damage: Lightning is a powerful source of electricity, and a strike to an airport roof could potentially cause electrical damage to the building’s electrical systems, including wiring, lighting, and electronic navigational
    equipment/systems.
  • Fire: A lightning strike to an airport roof could also potentially start a fire. This could be caused by the ignition of flammable materials, such as insulation or roofing materials, or by damage to electrical systems that could create sparks or thermal ignition.
  • Injury: In rare cases, people who are in close proximity to a lightning strike could be injured by the lightning current or by flying debris, which could also damage nearby operational aircraft.

What part did GreyMatters Play?


Knowing that an effective and 100% compliant design to the latest standards was a prerequisite, two previous lightning experts were locked in a dispute on the design approach to adopt. Until that is, GreyMatters stepped in to scientifically resolve the complex technical issues that required a high level of knowledge and expertise to understand and settle the technical challenge.
After resolving the technical issues and disputes, the large-scale construction project was able to continue knowing that a robust, technically secure solution had been developed and verified to protect the users of the MTB for many years to come.

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