Dubai International Airport set for runway upgrade

The runways at Dubai International Airport will be upgraded in 2014, bosses at Dubai Airports have confirmed.An 80-day project will be launched in May next year, which will see significant improvements made to the north and south runways. Some 3,000 runway lights will also be installed as part of the programme.Although the scheme will inevitably cause disruptions, airport chiefs insist the works have been meticulously planned. Talks have been held with airlines over a possible reduction in flights during the project, while Dubai World Central Airport - which will launch passenger services in October 2013 - will also be used to ensure people can still gain access to the emirate.Chief executive officer at Dubai Airports Paul Griffiths said safety and service are his two main priorities."While we regret any inconvenience caused to our airline customers and our passengers, these upgrades are necessary to heighten safety, boost capacity and quite literally pave the way for future expansion," he remarked.The airport has grown considerably in recent years and the capacity currently stands at 75 million passengers a year. This is set to reach 90 million by the end of the decade and there has been talk of even more expansion work beyond this.Around 66 million people are expected to fly into Dubai International in 2013 and this figure should increase in the coming years.The runway works will be crucial if the aviation hub is to become the busiest airport on the planet. This title is currently held by London's Heathrow, but with huge new airports emerging in places like China and Turkey, competition is fierce.Dubai International is in very good shape though, as a record 5.8 million passengers passed through the complex in March 2013, which was a 20.6 per cent increase on the corresponding month in 2012.Mr Griffiths said the airport has had a very successful start to the year and it has established itself as one of the most efficient aviation hubs in the world, with an average of 208 passengers boarding each plane.

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