Published on : Friday, May 2, 2014
A big new airport in the Qatari capital opened for business after years of delays, works to transform itself into a leading aviation hub and prepares to host one of sporting’s biggest events. Finally, after a series of delays, the airport opened in April 30, 2014 with a ceremonial Qatar Airways flight landing from Doha International Airport, with aviation’s traditional salute of fire engines spraying water overhead to mark the official opening.
Hamad International Airport was constructed to handle the increasing number of traffic at the present airport. The airport will be able to handle 29 million annual passengers at its opening, three times the capacity of the present airport. It is part of a multibillion-dollar building boom that is transforming the skyline of the Qatari capital, Doha, as it prepares to host soccer’s World Cup in 2022.
In recent years, Qatar has invested a lot in its aviation sector. It has appeared as a most important transit center for flights from around the world, competing at times uncomfortably with traditional European and Asian hubs for lucrative long-haul travelers’ dollars. The new airport is only partly operational for now, with ten mainly discount and South Asian airlines operating flights during an initial low-key opening period.
Hamad International is originally known as New Doha International Airport. The new airport has 33 gates where planes pull up directly to the terminal, with nearly twice that many planned for the future. That is an improvement on the packed existing airport, where passengers still have to be shuttled on buses and climb stairs to board aircraft in harshly hot and muggy summertime heat. The old Doha airport will be used for helicopter flights, military operations and a general aviation collage.
Tags: Hamad International Airport