HE Abdul Aziz Mohammad Al Noaimi, Chairman of The Steering Committee of the New Doha International Airport (NDIA) announced new details of Hamad International Airport (HIA), confirming that the airport is on track for a phased opening by mid-year 2014.
The announcement was made at a press conference on Wednesday 15 January 2014 at the HIA Passenger Terminal under the theme ‘Runway to the Future, Gateway to the World’ in the presence of the members of the NDIA Steering Committee including Akbar Al Baker, Nasser Al Ansari, Ali Abdullah Al Abdullah, Mohammed Abdul Kareem Al Meer, Abdullah Khalifa M Al Assiri, Essa Arrar Al Romaihi, Abdullah Jassim Al Meraikhi, and Saad Farhan Al Otaibi, as well as aviation stakeholders.
HE Abdul Aziz A Noaimi said:
The opening of Hamad International Airport in the middle of this year will bring to fruition the vision of HH The Father Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani to build a world-class airport supporting the State’s development and prosperity, a vision that HH The Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani was eager to complete through his support and guidance. HIA is a world-class aviation hub purpose-built to cater to rapidly evolving aviation and passenger needs of the 21st century.’
The press event included an extensive tour of the new airport that highlighted the vast number and scale of facilities that will be put into service. This includes the Public Mosque, the Emiri Terminal, East and West runways, the Main Fire Station, the Cargo Terminal, the Aircraft Maintenance Hangars, the Qatar Duty Free Warehouse, Central Utility Plants, the Air Traffic Control Tower, the Catering Facilities, the GSE Maintenance Facility, the Fuel Farm and the Passenger Terminal, including the Baggage Handling System.
Highlighted throughout the tour were aspects of the airport facility that contribute to its world-class nature, including the Airplane Maintenance Hangers, which feature the world’s widest free span door opening in the world. And at 69,000 square meters, the four-storey Catering Facility is one of the largest in the world with a capacity of 90,000 meals per day. The sheer size and scale of the facilities underscores the ambitious nature of the project to serve Qatar’s present and future aviation needs.
Al Noaimi said:
I am proud to confirm today that this project is nearly complete. HIA stands as a ground-breaking accomplishment fusing refined architectural style achieved through state-of-the-art airport and facility construction technology…The result is more than an airport; it is an international transport hub satisfying all the requirements of the fast-growing aviation sector in the region. This is needed in light of the growing traffic through and into the region, driven by world-scale events planned in the next decade.’
Despite delays, which were a result of changes requested during construction to expand the project, as well as challenges we faced regarding some contracts, we are on track for a mid-year opening. Through the work of many people, we have overcome the delays, and here today we are witnessing a major achievement of which Qataris will be proud for long years to come.’
HIA will be larger and have greater capacity on its opening day than initially envisioned. Due to increased transit growth in Qatar and the region in the past few years, these modifications were necessary to deliver an airport with a capacity of 30 million on opening day. The third phase was intended for a 2015 start but we preferred to accelerate the process and integrate all construction phases to complete the entire project in a shortened time. Progress on the project continues, with planning for construction of Airport City having started in 2012.
HIA and Airport City span 29 square kilometers, 60% on land reclaimed from the Arabian Gulf. More than 1,000 architects, designers, engineering consultants, and project managers worked on the project, through more than 200 local, regional and international contractors and service contracts. Local Qatari contractors have made significant contributions to the execution of the project.
The project includes 100 buildings of various uses. The Passenger Terminal was built with an internal area of 600,000 square meters on opening day. In its opening configuration, the terminal has three concourses and 33 contact gates, increasing to five concourses and 65 contact gates, including eight for the A380 in the final build-out. The terminal also includes 16 lounges for various categories of passengers, 28 art installations by local, regional and international artists, more than 100 F&B and retail outlets, a transit hotel, a swimming pool, a luxury spa and squash courts. The on-site public mosque can accommodate 500 worshippers.
Construction of the airport included completion of road infrastructure including 21 road bridges and five tunnels, with 44 km of internal and surrounding road surface.