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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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

What do you think?


April 1 is the new tentative opening date for some airlines to start operating out of the Hamad International Airport, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker has said.

Formerly known as the New Doha International Airport, the opening of the complex has been delayed for years, Al Baker blaming the latest postponement from a Dec. 12, 2012 launch on the fact that a contractor failed to deliver lounges on time.

Qatar Airways, which is managing the $15.5 billion project, is currently locked in a legal battle with Lindner Depa over the delays.

Meanwhile, a new company is now “working full blast” on the fit-out lounges, but only airlines that won’t require lounge access will open in April, Al Baker said on the sidelines for the World GTL Congress yesterday, citing the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority chairman.

That means Qatar Airways won’t be flying out of the new airport for several more months.

Gulf Times reports:

“They are going to deliver lounges to us, starting from June until September this year. The airport will be fully operational and fully open to all airlines in the second half of this year.”


PHOTOS: A fresh look inside the New Doha International Airport

A Doha News reader shared a bunch of photos with us of the delayed New Doha International Airport.

Soon to be renamed Hamad International Airport, the $15.5bn project was previously scheduled to launch on December 12, 2012. A summer 2013 opening is now being predicted, although much of the new airport – as per the photos above – is already looking pretty done.

Qatar Airways, meanwhile is locked into a legal battle with one of the firms it claims caused the airport delays.

Editor’s note: Three photos of the Emiri terminal have been removed from this gallery at the request of the Airport staff, due to security reasons. The photographer’s name has also been removed at his request.