Dubai International Airport to renew runway in 2019

Photo: © VtTN

Dubai International Airport (DXB) plans to close its southern runway (12R / 30L) for a 45-day period in 2019 to conduct a comprehensive runway refurbishment. The upgrade work is scheduled to take place from April 16 to May 30.

“[…] These upgrades are absolutely necessary to heighten safety, boost capacity and pave the way for future growth.”
– Paul Griffiths, Dubai Airports CEO

Because of year-round 24/7 operations at DXB Airport with many widebody aircraft, the runway is nearing the end of its designed lifetime and requires complete resurfacing.
According to the airport, ongoing runway maintenance is done on a weekly basis, whereas more extensive upgrades require a complete closure of the runway.

The programme in detail

The refurbishment project of the 4,450 metre long runway will involve the placement of approximately 60,000 tonnes of asphalt and 8,000 cubic metres of concrete to strengthen and resurface the runway and the nearby taxiways.

Dubai Airport will use the opportunity to replace over 5,500 runway lights with more modern, economic and environmentally friendly technology. In addition to that, about 800 km of primary cables will be installed.

Impact on operations

Although the closure will happen during the low season when passenger traffic historically decreasing, airlines are required to reduce their operations due to the single runway operations. According to the airport, the reduction in capacity is estimated to be around 43% during the 45-day period.

Dubai World Central (DWC) will be available as an alternative airport. Low-cost carrier flydubai has already announced that it will operate selected flights from Dubai World Central instead of Dubai International.

Emirates, the largest operator at DXB Airport, has issued significant cuts in frequencies.
A more detailed summary of scheduled changes for Emirates flights is available at routesonline.

Furthermore, foreign carriers have published plans for its operations during the runway closure.
British Airways will be operating its London to Dubai route with an Airbus A380 aircraft for a limited time on selected dates during the runway works to boost capacities. The British flag carrier is normally operating up to three daily flights on the route between the two cities.

Runway refurbishment programme in 2014

A few years ago, Dubai International managed a similar programme. During the 80-day period, the airport operated with just a single runway. About 300 weekly flights were relocated to secondary Dubai World Central Airport.