Dubai International Airport is on track to reopen its northern runway on July 21, as scheduled, ending an 80-day runway refurbishment and upgrade programme.
Following the reopening, the airport will return to full capacity, Dubai Airports confirmed in a statement.
“The opening of the northern runway and ramp up to a full schedule, when combined with the upcoming Eid holidays, will result in a significant surge in passenger numbers from July 21,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.
Both of the airport’s runways were closed consecutively from May 1 for refurbishment. The project involved the resurfacing of the entire 4,000-metre long northern runway as well as the upgrading of runway lighting and construction of additional taxiways and rapid exits on the southern runway.
The upgrades were carried out to accommodate an increasing number of aircraft, to keep pace with growing traffic at the airport, said Dubai Airports.
The rehabilitation and construction work required the use of 800,000 tonnes of aggregates, 11,000 airfield lighting luminaires, 1,050km of cabling, 1,750 new manholes and 8.3km of drainage piping.
During the refurbishment, several carriers temporarily relocated flights to the new Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central (DWC) including flydubai, Jet Airways and Royal Brunei Airlines.
These carriers will now return to Dubai International Airport, confirmed the statement.
Four airlines – Wizz Air, Gulf Air, Jazeera Airways and Qatar Airways – which operated at DWC before the runway closure will continue to fly from Al Maktoum Airport.
Passengers are advised to check with their airline which airport they will be flying from during the transition period, the statement added.
“We have committed the resources and undertaken detailed planning to ensure that the transition to full two-runway operations together with the moving of flights from DWC to Dubai International is smoothly and successfully managed,” said Griffiths.
Flights at Dubai International were cut by 26 per cent during the upgrade, with flagship carrier Emirates, which reduced flights to 41 destinations during the 80-day period, losing revenues of Dhs1 billion.
During the first five months of this year, passenger traffic in Dubai International rose 9.2 per cent to 29.61 million people, despite a 2.5 per cent drop in traffic in May, when the refurbishment work began.