Delays and Diversions in Dubai

By Chris Shieff


An OPSGROUP member reported that on Feb 21, several long-haul carriers were forced to divert due to extended airborne delays.

The problem stemmed from the following unassuming needle-in-a-haystack Notam…

 It was later re-issued (after-the-fact), somewhat sheepishly with an actual holding advisory …

The good news is that you can easily access the referenced AIP SUP online – provided you provide scans of your passport, your contact details, favourite colour, hobbies and the name of your first-born.


You can just read the following summary of what’s been going on.

The Trouble SUP

You can read it in full here (but it’s heavy).

Basically, what you need to know is that there are ongoing taxiway works happening at the airport.

These are divided into areas, and the one causing issues is ‘C08’.

For Runway 30L, this is causing a bottle neck for aircraft exiting on the rapids bound for terminals 2 and 3.

The preferred exit (K8) is partially blocked by the works, along with the next non-rapid exit (K7) which is completely closed.

The next option is K6, which is further up the runway. The extra time needed to allow aircraft to vacate means increased spacing for arrivals. Word on the street is that frequent A380 ops are also compounding the problem.

Here’s what that looks like on a chart.

During peak times, arrivals are stacking up.

Those times are daily between:

  • 00:00 – 03:00z (04:00 – 07:00 LT)
  • 07:00 – 09:30z (11:00 – 13:30 LT)
  • 13:30 – 21:30z (17:30 – 01:30 LT)

If Runway 30L is in use, and you are arriving during one of these periods – carry at least an extra 40 minutes of holding fuel.

How long will this last?

The current Notam says until March 9, but may get extended. The SUP doesn’t provide an end date, and strangely the original Notam applied until April 6. In other words, your guess is as good as ours…

But wait, there’s more.

There are some other Notams hidden in the pile that include closures of the other runway (12L/30R) that infringe these times. That’s an average of seventy-five arrivals and departures per hour using the one problem runway – 40 minutes may still not be enough.

Please report back.

If you experience delays in Dubai related to works (or otherwise) we’d love to hear from you so we can share that info with the group. You can reach us on around the clock.


More on the topic:

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Chris Shieff

Chris Shieff

OPSGROUP team member and Airbus pilot. Based in sunny Auckland, New Zealand. Question for us? Write to

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