The initial phase of Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar, is scheduled for opening on 1 April 2013, after an earlier opening delay in December.
As part of the first phase of the $15.5bn project, 12 international passenger airlines will begin operations at the transport hub, with complete operations anticipated to start in the second half of 2013, according to Qatar Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA).
The existing Doha International Airport will be operational for a few months until Hamad International becomes fully operational, following which the old airport will be used by various government agencies, including Qatar's defence and the Civil Aviation College.
The expansion will allow the new airport to serve 24 million passengers and 2 million tonnes of cargo per year, while the capacity is expected to reach 50 million upon commencement of complete operations.
HOK was responsible for designing the Hamad International Airport's 600,000m², three-story, main passenger terminal, as well as five concourses.
The project included the addition of 80 contact gates in addition to 25,000m² of retail space, lounges, and multi-storey short-term and long-term parking spaces.
Features of the new airport also include a 48,000m² cargo terminal with 15m clearance, in addition to hard standing areas for the passenger terminal, an 80m ATC, hangar space to house two A380-800s and three A340s and a 70,000m² maintenance centre with mezzanine levels.
The new airport will be a home for Qatar Airways, which will operate and be the main user of the facility.
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al Baker said that the facility will propel the nation further on the international stage.
"Later this year, Qatar Airways will move its entire operations to Hamad International Airport, as all airport lounges are expected to be ready and fully operational by then, ensuring that all our passengers have a truly world-class experience that they fully deserve," Baker said.
Image: Initially, the new Hamdad International Airport will be capable of handling 24 million passengers and 2 million tonnes of cargo per year. Photo: courtesy of HOK.