Qatar’s new state-of-the-art Hamad International Airport (HIA) will open to all airlines, including the country’s national carrier, at the end of May, according to a circular issued by the country’s Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA).
A Doha International Airport spokesperson confirmed the information to Doha News this afternoon. The circular was issued shortly after the QCAA set a soft launch date of April 30 for 10 budget carriers.
The new memo states that as of 9am on May 27, “all airlines shall entirely move to Hamad International Airport.”
Thus far, no public statement has been made about either the soft launch or the full opening by any of the airport’s main players.
When contacted by Doha News this afternoon, Patrick Muller, DIA Executive Vice-President, said that he was unable to comment.
Similarly, a spokeswoman for the HIA steering committee said she could not confirm when the airport would open. And Qatar Airways, the airport operator, was unavailable for comment.
Additionally, while the Federal Aviation Authority’s website contains a notice about the April 30 launch (and the opening of only one runway), there is no mention yet of flights flying out on May 27.
The long-awaited move to HIA means that Qatar Airways’ first three A380s – which are due to arrive in June, more than six months behind schedule – would be able to operate out of an airport with facilities designed to accommodate the double-decker aircraft.
The $15.5 billion airport was supposed to be completed in 2009, and has missed several opening deadlines since then, including on Dec. 12, 2012 (12/12/12) and April 1, 2013, when the launch was scrapped an hour before a plane was set to land there.
The exact reason for the delays remains unclear, though last year, Civil Defense safety approvals were not met. More recently, officials have suggested that the airport’s premium facilities and lounges were awaiting completion.
Meanwhile, DIA has been struggling to accommodate an ever-growing passenger load. Some 2 million people have been traveling through the airport each month, straining services such as parking facilities and passport control.
If you look closely at the FAA bulletin, it seems to set an expiry date for the notice to pilots not to confuse the HIA runway with DIA. That date is 28/05.
In any case, hopefully the NDIA/HIA saga is nearing it’s conclusion and the traveling public won’t have to face any more frustrating delays!
The reluctance by some key players to comment doesn’t inspire confidence.
I guess they are on Easter break (in Harrods). Upon return, I hope they will land on the right runway…
“Some 2 million people have been traveling to and from the airport each month, straining parking facilities and passport control.” Please get real…. The whole population of Qatar is 2M!!
A huge number of people pass through DIA transiting from one place to the other on QR.
Yeah, but I just can’t see how those transiting passengers put a strain on parking facilities and passport control if they are passing through.
Some of them do end up going through passport control and spend a couple of days in town.
Aside from that, there is stress on the runways, taxiways, baggage handling, and all sorts of other services.
You’re right, the wording is misleading – have just amended it to be more clear that some 2 million people have been transiting through the DIA, which is straining many services.
I say open up the Airport, if any problems arises lets just fix it then and there…..
OK, so they have to operate out of the new airport. But how MUCH of their operations needs to be in the new airport?
My guess is there will be more than one airline that OPERATES an information desk telling people to go to the old airport.
I’ll believe it when I see it…..
I think I’ll avoid the airport for a while – old or new.
Long swim home for me though.
Anyone know when they’re going to build the F ring so we can get there?
Good point how do you get there? Maybe take a bus from the old airport across the tarmac?
Access is off Ras Abu Aboud Street, either from Corniche or go past old airport and turn left at intersection to Barwa City (?)
I have friends flying into Qatar on the 28th so fingers crossed there are no problems and we all manage to meet at Arrivals. How difficult can it be???
Is May 27 a day comparable to April Fools Day in the west? Considering last year the opening date was April 1, I just have to wonder if there’s significance to this date as well so we will be able to laugh at the irony when it’s not ready.
They better open it now because a few days back I traveled through DIA and it looked like I am in Souq Waqif on weekend.
What people smoking Shisha and police keeping out persons with the wrong passports?
I’ll believe it when I see it
If it doesn’t have an IATA code yet how do you book flight from there or does it get the DOH code?