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IATA AGM 2014: Doha welcomes aviation industry to Hamad International Airport

IATA AGM 2014: Doha welcomes aviation industry to Hamad International Airport

With industry leaders arriving in Doha ahead of the International Air Transport Association AGM, Qatar has been exhibiting its new international airport. 

Hamad International Airport extended its jetways to welcome arriving passengers for the first time to the world’s newest aviation hub earlier this month.

A Qatar Airways flight was the first to officially land on the East Runway.

The flight carried the Qatari minister of transport HE Jassim Saif Ahmed Al Sulaiti, the board members of the Steering Committee of NDIA and other delegates and received a Water Salute by the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority Rescue Fire Fighting Services.

Ten carriers commenced operations out of the new passenger terminal at HIA, with the remaining carriers, with national carrier Qatar Airways joining last week.

“HIA is a world-class aviation hub purpose-built to cater to rapidly evolving aviation and passenger needs of the 21st century,” said H.E. Mr. Abdul Aziz Mohammad Al-Noaimi, chairman of the NDIA Steering Committee.

“In fact, its capacity on opening day will be 30 million annual passengers, which is more than the initial plan.

“Initial capacity was expanded to accommodate the increased transit growth in Qatar over the course of the past decade,” he added.

From fifth left to right: Qatar Minister of transportation His Excellency Jassim Al Sulaiti, chief executive of Qatar Airways, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker and chairman of the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority, His Excellency Abdul Aziz Mohammad Al Noaimi, with the New Doha International Airport Steering Committee

HIA and Airport City (together comprising the NDIA project) span 29 square kilometres, 60 per cent on land reclaimed from the Arabian Gulf.

The project includes 100 buildings of various uses.

The Passenger Terminal features a massive internal area of 600,000 square meters and has 3 concourses and 33 contact gates, which will subsequently be increased to five concourses and 65 contact gates, including eight for the A380, in the final build-out.

Once fully open, the terminal also features 16 lounges, 26 art installations, more than 100 food and beverage outlets and retail outlets, a transit hotel, a swimming pool, a luxury spa, squash courts and a four-storey catering facility that is one of the largest in the world.

The on-site public mosque can accommodate 500 worshippers at prayer time.

“The launch of the new airport represents the fulfilment of the longstanding vision of His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Father Emir, which was brought to fruition by His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar,” said Al-Noaimi.

“HIA will be a source of pride and joy for all people of Qatar for many decades to come. It will deliver a memorable experience to all passengers that will travel through its gates; an experience that reflects Qatar’s status and importance on the world travel and tourism map.”

Akbar al baker, chief executive, Qatar Airways, talks to Breaking Travel News at Arabian Travel Market about the developments at Hamad International Airport

Hamad International Airport

Designed to support and sustain Qatar’s historic development as a nation, HIA promises an exponential increase in Qatar’s capacity to handle international movements of people, goods, capital, knowledge and technology.

It is a vital element of Qatar’s National Vision 2030, which sets out the roadmap for a unique national transition from reliance on petrochemical revenues to a diverse, knowledge-based economy.

Following a rigorous two-year planning phase, construction began in 2005 with an ambitious project to reclaim 62 million cubic meters of land from the Arabian Gulf.

Upon completion, HIA will occupy 29 square kilometres or a space equivalent to one third the total size of Doha.

Airport City, a planned free trade zone surrounding and supporting HIA, will occupy an additional ten square kilometres.

In one of the Gulf’s most successful projects to date, eight million cubic tonnes of household and commercial waste were removed during construction.

In fact, HIA is the only greenfield airport of this scale built anywhere in the world.

The Passenger Terminal Complex sits at the heart of HIA and is instantly recognisable as a new landmark structure in the world of aviation.

Covering 600,000 square meters and elevating to the height of four stories, HIA Passenger Terminal Complex equals 75 FIFA-sized football pitches or it can fit three Qatar National Convention Centres.

Uncompromised functionality paired with functional beauty were key drivers of the magnificent architecture that today houses a state-of-the-art airport, setting new standards in the aviation industry, airport architecture and design quality.

A workforce of 23,000 invested over 160 million hours to design and build an undulating structure resembling the gentle waves of the Arabian Gulf taking passengers gracefully from landside to airside, using building materials sourced from 40 different countries around the world.

Ensuring all aircraft land and take-off safely, HIA’s state-of-the-art air navigation, radar and communication equipment is housed in its magnificent, crescent-shaped air traffic control tower which sits between two parallel runways.

It will provide visitors with an unmistakeable welcome to Qatar and the Middle East, soaring 90 meters above the airport to complement Doha’s rapidly evolving skyline.