Dubai airport runway close — Yatrik Sheth / Shutterstock

Dubai airport to close runway for 45 days due to upgrades

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World’s busiest airport for international passengers will reduce capacity by 43 per cent in April and May next year

Dubai International Airport has scheduled major upgrades that will affect international travellers. The southern of the airport’s two runways will be closed for 45 days in April and May 2019 because of a need for safety and capacity improvement.

The airport has become the world’s busiest for international flights with 88 million passengers taking off from the runway only last year. The volume means the runway is “nearing the end of its design life”.

“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.” said the CEO of Dubai Airports, Paul Griffiths.

In order to strengthen and resurface the runway and adjacent taxiways, approximately 60,000 tonnes of asphalt will be used in the refurbishment project.

A spokesperson for Dubai Airports told the Independent: “In terms of flight movements, the reduction in capacity is estimated at this point to be approximately 43 per cent during the 45-day period.”

It is too early to estimate the extent of the impact on passenger traffic as this will depend on how airlines respond to the capacity reduction. Some may decide to fly with a larger aircraft if possible, some could see their load factor increase both of which would influence passenger numbers.”

The second runway located in the north of the airport went through similar upgrades in 2014. However, the volumes of passengers were 65 million for the whole airport during that time. Current numbers are three times higher.

Due to the decreased capacity, some flights will be diverted to Dubai’s second airport, Dubai World Central.

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