Starting in May 2014, both of Dubai International Airport’s runways are being overhauled, and for an 80-day period business aviation will not be permitted to use the airport. The northern runway 12L/30R is nearing the end of its design life and requires resurfacing, new entry and exit taxiways, and upgraded runway lights. The southern runway will also get new taxiways.

It is thought that diverted traffic will go to Dubai World Central’s Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC), or to Sharja or Al Bateen. “After those 80 days, and when people have become familiar with the setup in DWC, I don’t believe Dubai International Airport will want to take business aircraft back,” mused Michael Rücker, senior VP and general manager at Jet Aviation’s facility there.

Talking of maintenance inspections during runway closures, Rücker explained, “The official version says no general aviation traffic during the 80 days, but we might get one arrival and one departure per week for aircraft coming in for maintenance. We will probably try to find outsourcing solutions and take tools and staff to an alternative hangar in Sharja or DWC. This will be a challenge!”

Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths says that from May 1 there will be full-time closure of the southern runway and single runway operations on the northern one. The end of May will see completion of the southern runway and closure of the northern one. Operations from both runways will resume on July 20.