Runway repairs at Dubai International Airport (DXB) are past the midway point, setting the project on track for the northern strip to re-open on June 22, state-run operator Dubai Airports said.
Since the upgrade work started on May 9, more than 1,000 vehicles and 3,000 people have been working on-site at DXB to complete the project, Dubai Airports said on Friday.
The work involves resurfacing the entire 4.5-kilometre-long northern runway, strengthening the wider runway strip, reinforcing the paving on key taxiway points and repairing drainage infrastructure.
Aeronautical ground lighting, navigational aids and meteorological equipment are also being replaced, and a navigation aids sub-station is being relocated, it said.
"Once completed, the project will have a positive impact on the overall travel experience at the airport for years to come," Dubai Airports said.
"DXB’s northern runway was last fully resurfaced in 2014 and a major upgrade was scheduled for 2024, however, with lower aircraft movements due to the recovery from the pandemic, the quieter time provided an ideal opportunity to carry out the rehabilitation works with minimum impact on DXB’s operations and growth."
Dubai International Airport through the years
Dubai International Airport is the base for long-haul airline Emirates and discount carrier Flydubai. The last time this level of work was carried out on the northern runway was in 2014, while in 2019, the site closed its southern runway from April 16 to May 30 for resurfacing and replacement of ground lighting.
The southern runway, meanwhile, is currently maintaining operations at the world’s busiest international airport.
While the runway work is ongoing, the emirate's second hub, Dubai World Central (DWC), has been handling more than 1,000 flights from several international airlines including Flydubai, SpiceJet, Indigo, Gulf Air, Air India Express and Qatar Airways during the 45-day runway upgrade.
"Throughout the temporary closure period, Dubai Airports is advising all passengers to carefully check their flight information before setting out for their departure airport and try to plan some extra time to get to, and through, the airport to avoid delays or other issues," the airport operator said.
The airport, a key source of revenue for Dubai, handled 29.1 million passengers last year, exceeding its forecast of 28.7 million.
Dubai Airports in May raised its annual passenger traffic forecast for 2022 to 58.3 million, from an earlier projection of 57 million.
The world’s busiest international airport recorded its busiest quarter since 2020 in the first three months of this year.
Passenger traffic more than doubled during the reporting period to 13.6 million travellers, from 5.7 million in the same quarter a year ago.