HIA’s final phase ‘to be complete in three years’

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Daisy

The final phase of Hamad International Airport (HIA) will be completed over the next three years, Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar al-Baker has said.

“The final phase involves the extension of concourse D and E which will have more boarding gates and extended facilities,” al-Baker told Gulf Times  yesterday.

“We will then  be able to go to the ultimate design phase for over 50mn passengers annually from the current 30mn,” al-Baker said.

He said the process of the final design (concourse D and E extension) had already begun. This has been awarded to Sir Norman Foster, a renowned British architect.

“We should hopefully finish the final design over the next few months following which a bid will be floated,” al-Baker said.

“We hope the new building should be ready within three years. This will be the extension of the current facility at Hamad International,” he added.

Currently, the HIA Passenger Terminal Complex houses a total of 138 check-in counters across five islands, including 108 counters for Qatar Airways economy passengers and all other airlines, 16 counters dedicated to the national airline’s business-class travellers and some 14 luxury, bespoke, seated check-in counters for its first class passengers.

HIA data show it serves more than 360,000 flights and 30mn passengers every year.

Every hour, 100 take-off and landing movements are possible at Hamad International, which translates into five planes every three minutes.

HIA’s 600,000-sq-metre passenger terminal is Qatar’s biggest building. The check-in hall alone is 25,000 sq metres of airy, column-free space.

Of its two runways, the western one is the eighth longest in the world at 4850 metres. HIA’s baggage handling system can handle 5,000 bags an hour, or 120,000 a day.

Hamad International offers 40,000 square metres of combined retail, food and beverage facilities, establishing the airport as a premier shopping and dining destination.

With more than 70 retail outlets offering an “unprecedented selection” of designer labels, high street fashion, electronics, gourmet foods and much more, Qatar Duty Free at HIA caters to passengers every taste.

In addition, more than 30 cafes and restaurants offer a “sumptuous” selection of global and local cuisine.

Al-Baker also said Qatar Airways’ new venture, Saudi-based Al Maha Airways was set to operate in the kingdom in early 2015.

Initially, it will use a fleet of A320-200 aircraft for operations between Jeddah and Riyadh, before expansion to further domestic routes across the kingdom.