Hamad International Airport (HIA) celebrated five years of operations this week, organising a parade in the terminal to engage passengers and thanked them for their contribution and support towards the rapid growth of the state-of-the-art airport.
HIA Chief Operating Officer Engineer Badr Mohammed Al Meer, said they are committed more than ever to provide passengers with unmatched five-star services and to strive for growth.
It brings us great pleasure to witness the remarkable and successful journey of HIA over the past five years. Today, we are gathered to celebrate the growth, achievements and success of HIA redefining the airport experience around the globe for over 170 million passengers to date.’
After the airport started its operation on 27 May 2014 with an inaugural flight from Qatar’s national carrier, Qatar Airways, HIA has since been on a road to success. The airport has become one of the fastest growing hubs in the world.
Within five years of operations, HIA has started the second phase of its terminal expansion plans to accommodate their target of 53 million passengers annually by 2022. The airport will see the construction of an Airport City which will provide significant future investment opportunities, including a free trade zone, an office and business complex, and hotels among others. HIA will also see the construction of a new cargo terminal. This will increase their capacity to three million tonnes per year and will help accommodate the expected surge in freight traffic. HIA is set to begin the construction of the expanded terminal on the second half of 2019.
Investment in Cutting-Edge Technology
After the successful completion of the first major phase of its Smart Airport programme in 2018, HIA enabled the five-star home carrier Qatar Airways to process more than 25% of its passengers using self-service check-in and bag-drop facilities. This was accomplished by commissioning 62 next-generation self-service check-in kiosks and 12 self-service bag drops spread across the departures check-in hall.
A first of its kind in any major airport worldwide, mobile Automated Visa Document Check has also been implemented in the five-star terminal to enable ground services agents to check the visa documentation of passengers.
HIA is now launching the second phase of its innovative Smart Airport programme through facial biometric recognition across all key passenger touch points.
Currently under trial, the system is a central piece of the airport’s digital strategy and combines passengers’ flight, passport, and facial biometric information in a single electronic record at the self-check-in kiosk or mobile app. (Please check here for more information).
HIA is also maintaining its ISO/IEC 20000 certification, provided to entities with the highest global standard for IT Service Management. The airport will continue investing in the best of breed technology and innovative solutions in the terminal to continue facilitating faster passenger movement, while complying with the highest standards for service quality, security, and safety.
The airport is also exploring the potential use of augmented reality and virtual reality for various operations.
After only two years of operations, HIA has joined the chart of the top 10 Best Airports in the World by Skytrax in early 2016. The Doha hub was classified as the first Middle East airport to be listed amongst the world’s most advanced airports. Since then, HIA has been rapidly climbing up the ladder.
HIA was ranked as the ‘6th Best Airport in the World’ in 2017. Last year, HIA made its way to join the best airports in the world after being ranked ‘5th Best Airport in the World’. HIA’s ever-growing vision to become the world’s airport of choice amongst passengers worldwide has never been more alive.
Recently, HIA ranked ‘4th Best Airport in the World’ at the Skytrax World Airport Awards 2019. HIA has also been named as a five-star airport and was honoured with the title of ‘Best Airport in the Middle East’ for the fifth year in a row and ‘Best Staff Service in the Middle East’ for the fourth year in a row. This is a testament to the airport’s commitment to providing five-star customer service and its plans to be one of the most operationally efficient airports worldwide.
World Class Art
HIA has established itself as a destination on its own in the world map for arts and culture. The airport is home to a considerable range of artworks that spans across artistic media including paintings, sculptures, electronic and interactive installations from local and internationally renowned artists.
The airport’s newest installations include ‘Small Lie’ by world renowned American artist and designer KAWS and French artist, Jean-Michel Othoniel’s installation of ‘Cosmos’. The art commissioned in the airport is in collaboration with Qatar Museums. HIA houses more than 20 permanent art pieces, catering to different passengers travelling through the terminal.
HIA offers shopping and dining, entertainment nodes, and relaxation facilities all housed in one expansive terminal.
HIA’s award-winning partner Qatar Duty Free has 90 shops, 30 cafes and restaurants, spread out over 40,000 square metres of combined retail, food and beverage facilities. The HIA complex also boasts 12 lounges across the terminal and an airport hotel, featuring a Vitality Well-being & Fitness Centre, to respond to the diverse needs of the modern traveller.
It already received numerous recognitions from Skytrax World Airport awards for its state-of-the-art terminal and facilities, including the ‘5th World’s Best Airport Dining’ and ‘4th Best Airport Shopping’ in 2018. HIA was also named ‘9th World’s Cleanest Airport’ and the world’s ‘3rd Best Airport Leisure Amenities’.
These facilities shape the travel experience for passengers, providing a smooth and hassle-free experience through world-star customer services and facilities. HIA continues to invest in retail, hospitality and leisure as a priority to cater to an increasing number of passengers.
For more information about HIA, visit their website at dohahamadairport.com.