Qatar delays opening of $15.5bn Hamad International Airport over safety concerns

3 April 2013 (Last Updated April 3rd, 2013 18:30)

The initial phase opening of Doha's new Hamad International Airport in Qatar has been delayed as it failed to meet new safety and security standard.

Hamad International Airport

The initial phase opening of Doha's new Hamad International Airport in Qatar has been delayed as it failed to meet new safety and security standard.

The $15.5bn gateway was scheduled to open on 1 April 2013, but it has been cancelled following safety issues raised by Qatar Civil Defence Department.

New Doha International Airport (NDIA) steering committee chairman Abdulaziz Al Noaimi said: "The delay of operations at Hamad International Airport occurred due to the airport not meeting the newly introduced safety and security requirements of the Civil Defence Department."

Hamad International Airport was originally scheduled to open in 2010 but that has been delayed several times, while the new commissioning date has not been revealed yet.

As part of the initial plan, 12 international passenger airlines will serve the transport hub, with complete operations expected to be launched in the second half of 2013.

"Hamad International Airport was originally scheduled to open in 2010 but that has been delayed several times, while the new commissioning date has not been revealed yet."

The new airport, which will be home to Qatar Airways, would be capable of serving 24 million passengers and 2 million tonnes of cargo per year upon the completion of expansion project, while the capacity is anticipated to reach 50 million upon launch of complete operations.

Features of the airport include 80 contact gates as well as 25,000m² of retail space, lounges, and multi-storey short-term and long-term parking spaces.

As part of the initial phase, HOK designed the airport's 600,000m², three-story, main passenger terminal, as well as five concourses.

Additionally, the airport incorporates a 48,000m² cargo terminal, in addition to hard standing areas for the passenger terminal, an 80m ATC, hangar space to serve two A380-800s and three A340s and a 70,000m² maintenance centre with mezzanine levels.

The existing Doha International Airport will be currently operational for few months until Hamad International is fully commissioned, upon which the existing old airport will be deployed by various government agencies that include Qatar's defence and the Civil Aviation College.


Image: Hamad International Airport opening has been delayed for second time since its earlier planned commissioning in December 2012 and on 01 April 2013. Photo: courtesy of HOK.