Southern Runway Refurbishment

2014 saw the closure of the Southern Runway at Abu Dhabi International Airport for refurbishment work to enable it to accommodate Etihad Airways’ new Airbus A380s. The refurbishment was part of a broader program aimed at enhancing the runway infrastructure at Abu Dhabi International Airport and was completed in December 2014.

In December 2014, Abu Dhabi Airports re-opened the Southern Runway, having closed it earlier in the year for renovations. The upgrade included the refurbishment and widening of the runway, elevating it to Code “F” standard.  Code “F” status enables the Southern Runway to accommodate every type of commercial aircraft in the world, including the largest, the Airbus A380, which made its inaugural flight from Abu Dhabi International Airport shortly after the re-opening of the Southern Runway.

The Southern Runway can now function independently of the parallel Northern Runway.  Together, both runways will reach a total combined capacity in excess of 500,000 aircraft movements annually, making Abu Dhabi International Airport one of the largest two-runway operations in the world.

In addition to the Southern Runway renovation, the Southern Airfield Programme included the construction of an airside road tunnel running underneath the Southern Runway.  The tunnel runs more than 1.2 kilometres in length and is 40 metres wide, and will enable full connectivity between the MTC and the existing Terminals 1 and 3. 

An additional 21 wide body aircraft stands were also constructed along the apron to accommodate increased aircraft movement. The total cost of the Southern Airfield Programme was approximately AED 830 million, and will facilitate the delivery of world class aviation infrastructure for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.