Dubai Airports confirms its operations teams at both airports – DXB and DWC – are “good to go” for the commencement of the 45-day long refurbishment of the southern runway at the two-runway Dubai International Airport (DXB).
The project – as if out of National Geographic’s Ultimate Airport Dubai documentary – is necessary as the runway is nearing the end of its design life and requires a complete upgrade to accommodate future traffic growth, the airports company says.
“Planning and preparations have been underway for almost two years in close coordination with Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects, airlines, dnata, the regulator and a host of other service partners to make sure this massive project goes off without a hitch,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.
DXB is the world’s number one airport in terms of international passenger traffic and number three globally in terms of total passenger traffic as reported by Airports Council International. DXB handled some 89.1 million passengers in 2018, up 1.0 per cent over the year earlier and saw 408,251 aircraft movements for the year, or 1,118 per day. The airport also handled 2.6 million tonnes of cargo last year, a decrease of 0.5 per cent and is the world’s sixth busiest cargo airport.
Dubai’s second airport Dubai World Central (DWC), will for the first time during the closure of DXB’s runway, see passenger traffic, as it takes on additional traffic from affected scheduled, charter, cargo and general aviation operations. DWC will handle an average of 145 passenger flights per day operated during the period by airlines including flydubai, Wizz Air, Aeroflot, Indigo, SpiceJet, Gulf Air, Ukraine International Airlines, Ural Airlines, Nepal Airlines, Kuwait Airways and flynas.
Dubai Airports says the final piece of the puzzle fell into place today with the delivery of the last piece of ground equipment to DWC. The logistics of the equipment move were managed by dnata and were tantamount to opening up an airport the size of Glasgow overnight. In just a few days over 600 pieces of equipment have been moved to DWC in order to handle the additional traffic and ensure a seamless and smooth operation from day one through to day 45.
Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority will provide a fully integrated ground transportation solution for DWC with a regular bus service from key locations in Dubai and a dedicated fleet of taxis serving the airport offering discounts throughout the closure period.
Dubai Airports will also have a free express bus service operating between DXB and DWC every 30 minutes departing from DXB Terminals 1, 2 and 3.
At DXB, airfield preparations commenced months ago as engineering teams undertook a number of works in advance of the full runway closure. Once the runway closes at 1500 local time on 16 April, the site will see more than 90 construction vehicles enter and exit every hour transporting more than 18,500 truckloads of concrete, asphalt, materials and personnel. More than 1,900 employees will be involved in the project.
“We’re confident we are fully prepared and good to go for 16 April,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports. He adds that thanks to the additional capacity provided by DWC, the number of flights across the Dubai Airport system will see a reduction of just 19 per cent and a seat reduction of just 20 per cent.
Meanwhile, over at DWC, Dubai’s second airport and future hub, is currently served by 10 passenger carriers, operating an average of 21 flights weekly to seven international destinations. Passenger traffic at DWC totalled 900,202 passengers in 2019, down 0.5 per cent compared to 2017.
DWC is also home to 20 scheduled cargo operators which carried a combined 987,986 tonnes of cargo in 2018 a year-on-year increase of 1.6 per cent compared to 2017. DWC opened in June 2010 with one runway and only cargo flights, later expanding to include passenger airlines in October 2013.