DUBAI: Dubai Airports yesterday confirmed operations teams at both airports are ‘good to go’ for the commencement of the 45-day long refurbishment of the southern runway at Dubai International (DXB). The runway is nearing the end of its design life and requires a complete upgrade to accommodate future traffic growth.
“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.
The main visible difference for passengers will be a potential change in airports, although scheduling experts have optimised DXB’s one runway operation to the point where there will be only a 29% reduction in the number of available seats. Thanks to the additional capacity provided by DWC, the number of flights across the Dubai Airport system will see a reduction of just 19% and a seat reduction of just 20%.
Many customers will get to experience the speed and convenience of Dubai’s second airport Dubai World Central (DWC) for the first time during the closure 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.*
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. Customers will also be able to take advantage of the free shaded parking at DWC’s 2,500 capacity car park.
Meanwhile 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 April 16, 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 April 16,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports. “We are encouraging passengers to confirm their airport of departure before they set out to take their flights but otherwise they can expect smooth operations and great service.” BIZ TODAY MONITOR