The most significant change for passengers during the period will be the need to confirm the airport that they travelling to or from, said Paul Griffiths
Flights at Dubai World Central (DWC) are expected to soar by 700% during the upcoming 45-day upgrade of Dubai International’s (DXB) southern runway, Dubai Airports has revealed.
Some of DXB’s scheduled, charter, cargo and general aviation operations will be diverted to DWC from April 16 to May 30, when one of the two runways at the world’s busiest international airport is closed for upgrade works.
Despite being without one of its two runways, the actual reduction in passenger flights will only be 32% thanks to an optimised schedule that will see the northern runway used to 96% of its capacity, Dubai Airports said.
This is assisted by some airlines deploying larger aircraft during the closure period, which will see the number of seats will only decrease by 26%.
The airports operator said planning the schedule has been a year in the making, with airlines notified as early as April last year – much longer than the six-month period typically required by IATA/ICAO.
The timing of the closure further minimises impact as the holy month of Ramadan is typically the quietest period at DXB in terms of traffic.
“We’re pleased that we have managed to maintain as much choice as possible for customers,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports. “The most significant change for passengers during the period will be the need to confirm the airport that they travelling to or from.
“That said, we’re confident customers and airlines will be impressed by the speed, efficiency and convenience of Dubai’s second airport. It’s a great opportunity to showcase DWC’s newly expanded facilities that can now accommodate up to 26.5 million passengers annually and we’re confident that it will shine.”
A total of 16 scheduled airlines will operate out of DWC during the 45-day period, including Flydubai, Wizz Air, Aeroflot, Condor, Air India, Air India Express, Indigo, SpiceJet, Gulf Air, Royal Jordanian, Himalaya Airlines, Ukraine International Airlines, Nepal Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Salam Air, Mahan Air, Flynas, and Azur Air.
Dubai Airports said the Roads and Transport Authority will provide a regular bus service from key locations in Dubai and a dedicated fleet of taxis serving the airport.
Dubai Airports will also have an express bus service operating between DXB and DWC every 30 minutes, departing from DXB Terminals 1, 2 and 3. Customers will also be able to take advantage of the free shaded parking at DWC’s 2,500 capacity car park.
Following the upgrade of the northern runway in 2014, DXB’s operational, construction and engineering teams are well versed in handling the challenges presented by massive, complex undertakings such as the upcoming refurbishment programme.
At peak times, more than 90 construction vehicles per hour will enter and exit the airport, adding additional traffic to the roads around DXB.
More than 18,500 truckloads of concrete, asphalt, materials and personnel will need to be transported to and from the airport for the duration of the runway refurbishment programme. More than 1,900 employees will be involved in the project.
To reduce the already minimal risk of construction overrun, Dubai Airports has started a number of works in advance of the full runway closure.
Dubai Airports has also identified work packages that are not critical to the completion and safe recommissioning of the new runways and which can be completed once the runway has returned to normal operation. This will provide a safety buffer should there be any unexpected delays, allowing non-essential work to be completed after the 45 days.