Dubai’s main airport is to cut a quarter of its aircraft movements for an 80-day period in order to proceed with a runway renovation programme.
The programme will involve closing Dubai International’s southern runway 12R/30L for the whole of May and then the parallel northern runway 12L/30R from 31 May to 20 July.
Operator Dubai Airports says the closure is necessary to resurface the northern runway, while the southern runway will be modernised with new taxiways and rapid exits as well as upgraded lighting.
The programme will include building a new end-around taxiway to allow aircraft to bypass the northern runway while using the southern.
But the 24h nature of Dubai’s operations adds complication to the work schedule. To cope with the lessening of runway capacity the number of flights will be cut by 26%.
Emirates will remain at Dubai International, but scale back its operation, while budget carrier Flydubai will transfer to Dubai’s second airport, Al Maktoum International. This combined effort will account for 53% of the required reduction in movements.
The other 47% will be contributed by other passenger carriers, as well as freight and charter airlines.
Fourteen carriers have secured slots to operate from Al Maktoum including eight which will relocate from Dubai International.
Flydubai is shifting to Al Maktoum along with Yemenia, Jet Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Ural Airlines, PAL Express, Royal Brunei Airlines and Equatorial Congo Airlines.
Over the 80 days of runway work some 600 weekly movements are expected at Al Maktoum, says Dubai Airports.