10 things to know about Qatar’s upcoming Hamad International Airport

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Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority confirms that the New Doha International Airport, now renamed Hamad International Airport, will begin some commercial flights this April.

They have also shared a presentation with Doha News containing some basic facts about the airport’s current status and future plans.

Here are 10 of the most interesting bits we pulled out of the document. The full report is available at the bottom of this post.

1. Qatar Civil Aviation Authority landed its first plane there on Nov. 29, 2012.

Considering all the past delays, there is an understandable amount of skepticism that the airport will be ready in April. But perhaps the fact that it’s complete enough to have already landed some planes could help allay some of that doubt.

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2. Hamad International Airport will stretch across 29 square kilometers. This will include the multi-concourse Terminal 1 due to open this year, but also the Emiri terminal,  second passenger terminal, vehicle rental and car facilities, cargo, maintenance hanger and catering facilities.

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3. There are 41 contact gates in the main passenger terminal. Those gates have some 88 Passenger Loading Bridges. That means no more long bus rides to and from the planes – passengers can just walk down the bridge onto the plane, like at many other airports in the world. Also, the terminal itself should be able to handle 28 million people a year.

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4. Terminal 1 will have 150 passenger check-in stations. That includes 14 check-in booths for First Class and 16 check-in desks for Business Class. Ideally that also means no waiting in long lines, although that remains to be seen.

No details yet on retail offerings, but once completed, there will be no shortages of lounges in the new airport.

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5. It will host a new Emiri terminal. The exclusive 12,000 square meter terminal will have a separate aircraft apron, bespoke interiors and a ceremonial space for receiving state guests.

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6. The new Aircraft Maintenance Hanger can hold up to 13 aircraft simultaneously. It boasts the widest free-span opening in the world, and is Airbus A380 ready.

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7. The Cargo Terminal will have a 1.4 million tons annual capacity. An automated container storage system will help achieve that goal.

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8. On-site catering facilities will produce 90,000 meals daily. Operations will be “state of the art” and prepared food can be directly loaded onto aircraft before take-off.

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9. The next phase of the airport will handle 50 million passengers a year. Dubbed Phase 3A, and due to be completed by 2017, it will see involve an expansion of Terminal 1 and the addition of a training center, rail station, car rental facilities, a “sea rescue” harbor and a multi-story parking structure.

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10. Everything should be done by 2020. That’s the estimated completion date for Phase 3B, which includes a new visa building, law enforcement offices, an “aviation campus” and the smaller Terminal 2 with a separate rail and bus station.

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Here’s the full presentation sent to us by the Civil Aviation Authority:

What do you think?

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