What is the New Doha International Airport (NDIA) Steering Committee’s role in the Hamad International Airport (HIA) project?
The NDIA Steering Committee was formed by an Emiri Decree to plan, implement and oversee the development and construction of the new airport in coordination with the concerned authorities. Its tasks include design, procurement, construction and all other activities necessary to achieve the development and construction of the airport and, as a team, use its collective expertise, experience and skills to accomplish the project.
When will the first phase open and when will the subsequent phases begin/finish?
The first phase opened on April 30, 2014. Simultaneously work is going on to complete the full build-out of Terminal 1, which will take HIA’s capacity to 50 million passengers per annum. This is expected to be complete by the end of 2019.
What new technologies have been introduced at the airport?
HIA is a technologically advanced airport, which is purpose built to cater for the aviation needs of the 21st century. From environmental control in the passenger terminals to advanced baggage handling systems and passenger security screening, as well as enhanced air traffic control, HIA is heavily invested in leading-edge technology that makes it one of the most advanced airports in modern times.
What have been the main challenges of the project and how have they been addressed?
Any project the size of HIA comes with complexities and challenges. During the construction process, we had to scale up our plans as Qatar Airways grew rapidly and needed much more capacity than was originally planned.
Our next steps are to complete the terminal to its ultimate capacity of 50 million passengers per annum, and the focus is on making the airport compliant with FIFA’s requirements for hosting the 2022 World Cup Finals. An overarching requirement to manage all these processes successfully is a free flow of information, cooperation and communication between all stakeholders, which has been very successfully achieved in this project.
What challenges are you facing in this area in terms of competition and airspace?
There are a number of challenges in managing the Gulf airspace and we are all aware that we need to efficiently manage our ‘invisible infrastructure’ for airlines and airports to fulfill their ultimate potential. We always welcome competition and do not see it as a challenge. We believe that competition is essential in raising the standards of service and provides impetus for the development of all aviation-related facilities.
How will the new airport compete with other major airports in the area?
The geographical location of the Middle East is undoubtedly one of the strongest reasons for the continual growth of aviation in the region, and investment by the governments in this sector has supported and spurred this growth. Statistics indicate that by 2020, 450 million passengers are expected to travel through Gulf airports every year, and aircraft movements are expected to exceed 2.3 million by 2025. All the hubs have an equal advantage in location, but what will set them apart is the excellence of their service and quality. That will be the hallmark of the leader in the region.
What makes HIA stand out?
HIA goes beyond the definition of a traditional airport; it 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.
HIA will redefine the passenger and transit experience, making it truly world class and beyond expectations. Its luxurious ambience is enhanced by resort quality facilities – plush hotels, spas, swimming pools and leisure options, such as squash courts, enable passengers to relax, refresh and rejuvenate themselves between flights. It is one of the few public spaces where people can enjoy a museum experience, with handpicked ancient and contemporary art showcased in a brilliant architectural setting.
June 13, 2014