Dubai Airports announced plans to conduct a runway enhancement project at the Dubai International Airport for 80 days beginning from May 1, 2014.
Scheduled passenger flights will be reduced and all freighter, charter and general aviation flights will be diverted to the new Dubai World Central (DWC) to safeguard service levels while the work is taking place, Dubai Airports said in a statement.
While the northern runway is nearing the end of its design life and requires resurfacing and other modifications, the runway lighting also needs to be upgraded.
New taxiways will also be constructed on the southern runway to boost capacity.
The entire project will involve the placement of 180,000 tonnes of asphalt on the northern runway, 65,000 tonnes of asphalt and 70,000 cubic metres of concrete on the southern runway and taxiways and the installation of 3,000 runway lights.
The southern runway will be closed from May 1 to May 31 while the northern runway will be out of operation from May 31 to July 20, 2014.
“Safety and service are our two top priorities,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports. “While we regret any inconvenience caused to our airline customers and our passengers, these upgrades are necessary to heighten safety, boost capacity and quite literally pave the way for future expansion.”
DWC, which opens its doors for passenger operations on October 27 this year, will be an available alternative to absorb affected scheduled passenger flights, said the statement.
Discussions are also on with airlines to reduce flight schedules during the 80-day period, Dubai Airports added.
The summer months of June, July and August are among the peak travel times in Dubai, and the inflow and outflow of both residents and tourists may be strained by the closing of the runways.