The first phase of the expansion of Hamad International Airport (HIA) was inaugurated this week, raising the airport’s capacity to 58 million passengers annually.

Upon the completion of the second phase, which is scheduled beginning of next year, HIA will be able to receive more than 60 million passengers.

This large expansion is in line with the expected flow of visitors and fans. It will facilitate aircraft movement and air control, in conjunction with the requirements of operational intensity during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, which is only a few days away. This will also enhance the opportunities to meet the increasing demand for individual travel and air freight.

It is estimated that the first phase of the HIA expansion project includes linking the northern area and the new central area in the passenger terminal.

The passenger terminal’s total area that will be covered by the expansion will be around 240,000 sqm, which will be integrated with the existing building. Additionally, a new cargo building was also constructed to increase its capacity to more than five million tonnes annually.

Modern and more sophisticated facilities

HIA’s expansion project is likely to add modern and sophisticated facilities, with over 90 brands within one shopping area, a collection of art pieces created by artists from Qatar and around the world, as well as a natural environment, thanks to green spaces and a 10,000-sqm indoor tropical garden that is linked to a 268-sqm water surface, another major attraction for travellers.

HE Minister of Transport Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti explained that the expansion plan of HIA will enhance its position as a global centre for travel, helping achieve higher levels of excellence and development, as well as enhancing travel experiences by upgrading operations, providing unique experiences for all visitors and accommodating the growing network of Qatar Airways to meet the requirements of the FIFA World Cup™.

Data from Civil Aviation Authority indicate that HIA recorded an increase in the number of passengers during September by 74.4% to more than 3.17 million passengers, compared to the same month in 2021. Aircraft movement at HIA also increased by 13.6% to reach 17,660, compared to 15,551 in September 2021.

Best Airport in the World

HIA won the 2022 Best Airport in the World for two years in a row after it ranked first in the Skytrax World Airport Awards, which was held on the sidelines of the Passenger Terminal Expo and Conference in Paris.

The rankings of the nominated airports were based on the vote of travellers around the world, and their satisfaction was measured through 39 key performance indicators for airport services and products such as check-in, arrivals, flight transfers, shopping, security, passports and departure lounges. HIA ranked first compared with 550 airports around the world.

In early September, HIA opened the Oryx Garden Hotel, the second airport hotel and the latest destination to receive passengers during their stopover flights in Doha. Its unveiling is in conjunction with the start of the upcoming World Cup.

As part of its constant endeavour to enhance the smart airport programme, HIA launched an innovative Digital Twin initiative. This Digital Twin provides a real-time view of the airport through an intuitive 3D interface. Its powerful analytical engine integrates information from multiple airport systems to provide intelligent recommendations to help optimize operations.

This unique initiative combines 3D modelling techniques, data analytics, and Artificial Intelligence to deliver improved, faster and data-driven decision-making.

The Digital Twin technology manages aircraft stand conflicts, enables effective responses to alerts, and monitors the health of critical airport assets. Additionally, it effectively utilises the right data at the right time to allow the optimisation of resources to minimise asset downtime.

World Cup traffic

During the World Cup season, air traffic is expected to reach over 1,600 air traffic per day with the safety rates in Qatar’s air traffic reaching 100%. The air navigation system has been provided with a large number of modern devices to keep pace with the expected traffic increase of the World Cup.

Earlier this year, the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA) announced that it expects to double the number of passengers to its airports in 2022, up to 36 million passengers because of the World Cup.

QCAA has set two tracks for passenger traffic forecasts during the current year, one of which is moderate, with 34 million passengers throughout 2022, a growth of 90% from 2021, and the second is more positive, with the number of passengers expected to reach 36 million people in 2022, a growth of 105% over 2021.

The number of passenger flights through Hamad and Doha International Airports during the World Cup is expected to be at 28,000, with regular and chartered flights from 20 Nov to 18 Dec.

HIA’s main priority is to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for passengers and maintain the excellence of its services while reducing waiting time at all touch points across the airport and keep pace with the latest technologies, techniques and automation.

For more information about HIA, visit

Text from Qatar News Agency

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