Dubai airport runway closure starts today as flights shifted to DWC

More than 1,000 flights a week have been relocated as a result of the 45-day refurbishment project

The northern runway of Dubai International Airport will close until June 22. Photo: Dubai Airports
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The refurbishment of the northern runway at Dubai International airport began on Monday and is set for completion on June 22.

As a result of the essential works, the world’s busiest international airport will be reduced to a one-runway operation. More than 1,000 flights per week have been relocated to Dubai World Central (DWC) over the 45-day period, largely those operated by flydubai, Spice Jet and Indigo.

Dubai Airports is urging passengers to double check their departure airport and terminal before travelling by contacting their selected airline or by visiting www.dubaiairports.ae.

It is also operating a complimentary bus service between all terminals at DXB and DWC, and has arranged a deal with Uber allowing passengers to receive special rates when using the code DWC2022. Complimentary parking is offered at DWC.

Emirates' flights will not be affected by the refurbishment. Photo: Dubai Airports

In a recent interview with The National, Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Dubai Airports, explained why it makes sense to do the work now. “We're anticipating 57 million passengers this year. Pre-Covid, in 2019, we recorded 89 million.

“So while I'm completely ecstatic and excited about the growth numbers, we are still operating at only two-thirds of our normal demand levels. If we were to delay the runway works, we would probably impact more passengers than if we do them now,” he told The National.

“We chose the period between the end of the Eid break, and the start of the summer demand because traditionally, that's a fairly low period for traffic.”

The closure is necessary for airport maintenance, which was last carried out in 2014. Work will include the placement of 160,000 tonnes of asphalt and 30,000 cubic metres of concrete on the runway; the replacement of 264 kilometres of cables; and the installation of 4,400 runway lights. The southern runway underwent a similar closure in 2019.

Flydubai is moving around 30 per cent of its operations to DWC and the low-cost carrier has released a list of 39 destinations affected by the move, including Addis Ababa, Bahrain, Delhi, Jeddah, Muscat and Riyadh.

Emirates' flights will not be affected by the runway maintenance programme, with all flights scheduled to fly in or out of Terminal 3 at DXB and operating as normal.

“Building on best practices from the previous two runway rehabilitation projects at DXB in 2014 and 2019, Emirates already has response plans in place to ensure that our operations maintain on-time performance while utilising a single runway, while reducing instances of flight delays and disruptions across our destination network,” a spokesman for Emirates confirmed to The National.

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Updated: May 09, 2022, 10:42 AM