Dubai International Airport To Close One Runway Next Week


Dubai International Airport (DXB) will close its Southern Runway for 45 days starting April 16th. During its closure, the runway will undergo a complete refurbishment. The Southern Runway is DXB’s longer runway. It is 4,500 meters long and 60 meters wide.

DXB Runway
Only one runway will be available at DXB between April 16 and May 30, 2019. Photo: Dubai Airports.

What are the details?

According to Dubai Airports, DXB’s Southern Runway has reached its life limit. Consequently, it is time for a major refurbishment. As a matter of fact, the airport’s Northern Runway underwent a similar rehabilitation program in 2014.

As part of its upgrade, the runway (12R-30L) will be resurfaced. Additionally, the airfield ground lighting and supporting infrastructure will be replaced. More specifically, “the 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”. Over 5,500 runway lights are scheduled to be replaced.

Impact of the runway closure

Dubai International Airport is the world’s busiest airport for international travel, handling about 1,100 departures and arrivals a day. Consequently, losing one runway for an extended period of time has a pretty big impact on the capacity of the airport. They are expected to lose as much as 43% of its capacity during the refurbishment period. However, the reduction in passengers flights will be lower (about 32%).  To compensate, some airlines will operate larger aircraft in and out of DXB. As a result, we will only see a 26% reduction in seats during the period.

Dubai’s second airport, Dubai World Central (DWC), will be available to service some of the flights. As a matter of fact, several airlines including Air India, Condor, Indigo, SpiceJet, and flydubai will operate out of Dubai World Central during the construction. DWC will handle about 158 passenger flight movements per day during the 45-day period.

DWC Airport
Once completed, DWC will have a capacity of over 160 million passengers per year. Photo: Dubai Airports.

The refurbishment project was scheduled during this time of the year because it is typically the slowest season for Dubai International Airport. Nevertheless, a significant number of Emirates flight will need to be rescheduled or canceled. Additionally, Emirates is planning on parking as many as 48 of its aircraft during the runway closure. This will lead to a 25% reduction of Emirates flights.


Are you going to fly in or out of Dubai during the 45-day period?