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Posted On: 7 February 2012 06:48 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:11 pm

New Doha airport set to open by the year-end

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The New Doha International Airport (NDIA) is set to open by the end of the year, according to a senior official from the project, who explained that work is currently going according to schedule and that the new site will be operational within a matter of months. Speaking at the Qatar Projects 2012 conference, director of the NDIA Steering Committee, Bernardo Gogna explained that if the thousands of contractors who are currently working on the various buildings as part of the development can handover their work on time, then the project will come together by the end of 2012. However, he explained that while the committee can offer support and advice, and put pressure on the companies to deliver, it is up to those involved to conduct the work on time and ensure that it is completed according to schedule. Gogna said that discussions were currently ongoing about the transfer of operations from the old airport to the new site, with deliberations focusing on whether it should take place in phases, or whether they should conduct an overnight transition. He said that if the committee opted for a phase by phase transition, the switch would have to be made within two to three months of the initial move, so either way the transfer of operations would take place within a relatively short time. The present airport site will be demolished and redeveloped as part of Doha’s overall urban development, he said. However, he was reluctant to provide a timeframe for this work, as the site currently provides a number of services which are not going to move to NDIA, and are now searching for new headquarters, which could take some time. Gogna also spoke about the medium- and long-term plans for NDIA, which will involve an increase in annual capacity from around 24mn passengers, when it opens, to nearly 50mn in 2020. He said that plans were being developed to meet the increased demands associated with hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2022 as well as the expected growth of Qatar Airways, and explained how the terminal and surrounding areas could be changed easily to accommodate the increase in footfall in the future. The presentation provided a fascinating insight into how the NDIA is being developed, with the aerial photographs of the project offering a preview as to how certain aspects, such as the Emiri terminal and the maintenance hangar will look and operate upon completion. Gogna also discussed the lagoon in front of the terminal, explaining that the committee has been working with Qatar Museums Authority and a number of international artists to introduce installations in the water, offering passengers a unique and memorable approach towards and departure from Doha. There is certainly a long way to go in terms of completing and fitting out many of the facilities, but Gogna consistently expressed his firm belief that the airport will be ready by the end of this year. “This is exceptional when you consider it under any perspective,” he said, referring to the technology, security and other aspects of the construction and operations of NDIA. “We are relying on contractors to deliver according to their obligations, and we have to continue to believe and insist that it opens at the end of the year,” he added. Gulf Times