Dubai International has announced plans to close its southern runway for a period of 45 days next year, to allow for upgrade works to take place.

The works are scheduled to take place from April 16 to May 30, 2019, when the airport says that “passenger traffic historically ebbs due to a seasonal lull”.

Dubai International says that “While ongoing runway maintenance is scheduled on a weekly basis, more extensive upgrades require a complete closure of the runway”.

The airport added that the southern runway is nearing the end of its design life, so a complete resurfacing is now required, along with the replacement of the airfield ground lighting and supporting infrastructure. Similar works were carried out on the northern runway in 2014.

The airport says it is providing “additional advance notice to all airlines”, who will be required to reduce operations “due to the significant capacity reduction resulting from single runway operations”. It says that more information will be made available as plans develop and as flight schedules are finalised.

Dubai World Central airport will be available to absorb affected scheduled, charter, cargo and general aviation flights during the runway closure.

The works will see around 60,000 tonnes of ashphalt and 8,000 cubic metres of concrete laid, along with 800km of primary cables and 5,500 new runway lights.

Commenting on the news Paul Griffiths, Dubai Airports CEO said:

“In the months ahead we will be working closely with Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects, airlines and other stakeholders to ensure we optimise service and capacity during this period next year and minimise the impact on our customers.

“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.”