Aircraft at Hamad International Airport (HIA) will have more room to maneuver around the facility in the coming years once a new project to add additional taxiways is completed, the New Doha International Airport Steering Committee has said.
In a statement yesterday, the committee announced that it had awarded a QR277 million (US$76.1 million) contract to Consolidated Engineering Construction Co. to reclaim land to build the taxiways on the northwest tip of the property.
The move comes as HIA prepares to expand its airport to accommodate rapidly-growing passenger traffic.
The taxiway project involves filling in a body of water previously referred to as a naval base lagoon, increasing the size of the airport by nearly 272 acres, officials said.
Some 3 million cubic meters of earth will be required for the project, which would be enough to fill the iconic Burj Qatar some eight times.
In a statement, steering committee chairperson Abdulaziz Al-Noaimi said:
“We are gearing up for the expansion of the western airfield as necessitated by the growth of our national carrier and the requirements for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.”
Some 26.3 million passengers used HIA and its now-shuttered predecessor, Doha International Airport, in 2014. Officials are expecting that figure to climb 10 percent this year.
The new airport can currently handle 30 million passengers annually. Several ongoing and planned expansion projects are expected to increase that figure to 53 million travelers by 2020.
Plans include enlarging the passenger terminal by adding new check-in counters, lounges, restaurants and boarding gates, as well as building a connection to the Doha Metro.
Meanwhile, airport authorities have also drafted plans to expand the airfield west of the runways to provide more space for planes to taxi, as well as add ancillary services such as utility plants, a fire training center and fuel facilities.
The land being reclaimed under the contract announced this week is located to the north of the airfield.
In preparation for the project, more than 5,000 square meters of seagrass and 88 specimen of pen shell clams were transplanted to an undisclosed location approved by the Ministry of Environment, airport officials said.
The statement added that the reclamation project involves removing the existing rock revetments – sloped walls designed to absorb the impact of incoming water – along the eastern and southern boundaries of the lagoon that border the existing runway and airfield.
Meanwhile, 690m of new rock revetments will be constructed on the northern boundary.
Airport officials said the contractor will reuse the rocks from the old revetments and use fill from other parts of the HIA construction project to minimize the amount of earth that needs to be transported to the property.
Locally, Consolidated Engineering Construction Co. was previously involved in developing the ports in Al Khor and Al Ruwais, as well as deepening and widening the navigation channels leading to the two marine facilities, according to the firm’s website.
The HIA land reclamation project is expected to be completed by March 2017.