Dubai International to close runway for 45 days

Posted: 27 February 2018 | | No comments yet

With just short of 90 million passengers flying through Dubai International in 2017, the airport is firmly in place as one of the 20 busiest airports in the world. But in 2019 it will close up one of its runways for almost 45 days for a comprehensive upgrade.


Dubai International Airport (DXB) will be operating on just one runway for a month and a half in 2019 while a ‘comprehensive upgrade’ gets underway.

Dubai Airports, the operator and owner of the Middle Eastern hub, confirmed its plans yesterday [February 26].

They entail a complete resurfacing of the southern runway as well as the replacement of the airfield ground lighting and support infrastructure. This is necessary because, according to the operator, the runway has reached the end of its design life.

To limit the impact on service, the upgrade work is scheduled to take place from April 16 to May 30 when passenger traffic historically ebbs due to a seasonal lull.

During the closure period, airlines will be required to reduce their operations to DXB due to the significant capacity reduction resulting from single runway operations. Dubai Airports has provided additional advance notice to all airlines to plan for the flight reductions and schedule planning.

Paul Griffiths, Dubai Airports CEO said, “In the months ahead we will be working closely with Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects, airlines and other stakeholders to ensure we optimise service and capacity during this period next year and minimise the impact on our customers.

“While we regret any inconvenience this may cause to our airline customers and our passengers, these upgrades are absolutely necessary to heighten safety, boost capacity and pave the way for future growth.”

During the 2014 northern runway upgrade programme, Dubai World Central (DWC) airport, another of Dubai Airports’ enterprises, took up the slack and the operators have said the case will be the same next year.

DWC is currently undergoing the completion of an expansion programme that will boost its capacity from 5-7 million passengers per year to 26 million passengers per year.

The southern runway refurbishment project will involve the placement of approximately 60,000 tonnes of asphalt and 8,000m3 of concrete to strengthen and resurface the runway and the adjacent taxiways. Dubai Airports will also use the opportunity to install 800 km of primary cables and replace over 5,500 runway lights with more modern, economic and environmentally friendly technology.

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