DUBAI — The world’s busiest airport for international passengers will see far less traffic in 2019 thanks to an official runway closure.
Dubai International Airport (DXB), which in 2017 handled over 88 million passengers, has announced that one of its two runways will close for 45 days from April 16-May 30, 2019 due to the fact that it’s “nearing the end of its design life”. During this time, the runway will undergo resurfacing and replace its ground lighting.
An airport spokesperson told The Independent that the reduction in capacity is estimated to be approximately 43% during the closure.
The airport’s northern runway received a similar rehaul in 2014, but back then it handled far less traffic (around 65 million passengers). Today, it handles more passengers than Heathrow and runs 24 hours a day.
The timing of next year’s closure, said the airport, was chosen for when passenger traffic normally ebbs due to a seasonal lull. Some flights will be switched to Dubai’s second airport, Dubai World Central (DWC).
Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Dubai Airports, said: “While we regret any inconvenience this may cause to our airline customers and our passengers, these upgrades are absolutely necessary to heighten safety, boost capacity and pave the way for future growth.”