The upcoming 45-day refurbishment of Dubai International Airport’s (DXB) southern runway, at its peak, will see more than 90 construction vehicles and 18,500 truckloads of concrete, asphalt, materials, and personnel being transported to and from the world’s busiest airport by passenger traffic.
These details emerged as operator Dubai Airports revealed that passenger flight traffic at sister facility Dubai World Central (DWC) will spike by 700% as a part of DXB (pictured) is revamped between April and May this year.
In a press statement, Dubai Airports said more than 1,900 employees will be involved with the project, for which “a number of works” have already started prior to full runway closure, in order to “reduce the already minimal risk of construction overrun”.
Dubai Airports said it had “also identified work packages that are not critical to the completion and safe recommissioning of the new runways and which can be completed once the runway has returned to normal operation”.
The airport operator giant continued: “This will provide a safety buffer should there be any unexpected delays, allowing non-essential work to be completed after the 45 days.”
Last week, Al Naboodah Construction Group announced it had been picked to implement a four-phase programme for the revamp of southern runway. Senan Al Naboodah, managing director at the contracting company, described the DXB project as a "high-precision" development.
DXB will, in effect, be without 50% of its runways in operation between 16 April and 30 May, 2019, but its actual impact on passenger flights will be a reduction of only 32%. Dubai Airports said it had devised “an optimised schedule that will see the northern runway used to 96% of its capacity”.
The closure programme “has been almost a year in the making”, the operator said, adding that all airlines it works with were involved from April 2018 with schedule adjustment activities.
In its statement, Dubai Airports added: “The timing of the closure further minimises impact as the holy month of Ramadan is typically the quietest period at DXB in terms of traffic.”
As some airlines will operate larger aircraft during the refurbishment period, DXB’s number of seats will reduce by 26%, and with DWC’s additional capacity accounted for, Dubai Airports will, as a whole, experience a seat reduction of only 11%.
The spotlight will also be on DWC, which will now have an opportunity to “shine”, according to Paul Griffiths, chief executive officer of Dubai Airports.
“We’re confident customers and airlines will be impressed by the speed, efficiency, and convenience of Dubai’s second airport,” Griffiths continued.
“It’s a great opportunity to showcase DWC’s newly expanded facilities that can now accommodate up to 26.5 million passengers annually, and we’re confident that it will shine.”
Around 158 daily flights will move through DWC during the 45-day period, and among the charter carriers and scheduled airlines due to operate out of the new Dubai airport are Fly Dubai, Wizz Air, Air India, Air India Express, Indigo, Spice Jet, Gulf Air, Royal Jordanian, Himalaya Airlines, Ukraine International Airlines, Nepal Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Salam Air, Mahan Air, Flynas, and Azur Air.
Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority will deliver an integrated ground transport network for DWC, including bus services and taxi fleets around the facility. Dubai Airports will operate buses between DWC and DXB’s Terminals 1, 2, and 3.
Passengers have been advised to confirm their points of departure and arrival in advance, and to account for road traffic due to construction vehicular activity before leaving for the airport.