Dubai airport runway closure: 1,000 flights a week to be diverted to DWC

The closure will go into effect from May 9 for a period of 45 days


Nandini Sircar

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Published: Wed 27 Apr 2022, 11:59 AM

Last updated: Wed 27 Apr 2022, 11:47 PM

Around 1,000 flights a week will be relocated to the Dubai World Central (DWC) during the northern runway closure at Dubai International Airport, said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.

The northern runway at Dubai International Airport will be closed for a 45-days between May 9 and June 22 to carry out an overall refurbishment to ensure continued safety and efficient operations.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Griffiths said, "During this period, 1,000 flights a week will be relocated to DWC to enable the runway closure and the passenger services to be relatively unaffected.

"DWC, fortunately, is close to quite a large percentage of the population here in Dubai. And the convenience of that airport, I'm sure, will mean that it's not going to be a great inconvenience for passengers to get to and from the city, their place of work or where they live.

"So, during that period, all we need is for customers to check with their airlines to make sure they understand which airports they're getting to be departing or arriving at."

On Wednesday, Dubai Airports' chief executive highlighted that the runway refurbishment was purposely timed after the Eid rush and before the summer holidays.

"It's been timed very carefully to actually be after the Eid break and before the busy summer period. So, we chose the time in the calendar very carefully during a period where the traffic numbers are slightly lower than other times of the year."

Clarifying how it's not just about volume and passenger increase, he further added, "It's more about the actual physical state of the runway. In aviation, safety is our primary objective. We must make sure that every part of our entire supply chain of assets is in proper and peak safe condition. That applies for physical assets as well as all the technological processes systems."


"Refurbishing a runway is something every airport has to do once the runway gets to a point where - with intensive - with a 400-ton aircraft landing on it every minute or even quicker than every minute. So, you can imagine it takes quite a pounding.

"Therefore, we to have ensured that the runway's surface retains its integrity. We have to check it every day, and we have to make sure that it's fit for its purpose. Everything at the end of it has a natural life and has to be refurbished and replaced. So that's why we're doing it."

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