Dubai Airports has confirmed plans to close Dubai International Airport’s (DXB) southern runway (12R-30L) for a 45-day period in 2019.

It cited necessary upgrade work to strengthen and resurface the runway (one of two at the airport) and adjacent taxiways. The work is scheduled to take place from April 16-May 30, 2019, when DXB believes there will be lower passenger traffic than at other times of the year. Nevertheless, airlines will be required to reduce their operations to DXB over the 45-day period. The runway work will cause a significant capacity reduction resulting from single runway operations.

The Gulf Daily News reported the runway is nearing the end of its design life. DXB handles more than 1,100 aircraft movements per day.

“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,” Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths said.

In terms of flight movements, the reduction in capacity is estimated to be approximately 43% during the 45-day period.

Dubai World Central (DWC) will be an available alternative airport to absorb affected scheduled flights as well as charter, cargo and general aviation operations.

DXB, which handled 88.2 million passengers in 2017, is the home base of Emirates Airline and LCC flydubai.

Kurt Hofmann