Doha’s Hamad International Airport is to undergo a major expansion to increase its capacity to more than 65 million passengers.
Speaking at a press conference where the airport was awarded a global 5-Star Airport rating by Skytrax, the international air transport research organisation, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said the project will start this year and will be completed “as soon as possible”.
“The government has approved the expansion of the airport,” Al Baker told reporters.
“There is a new steering committee that has been formulated under the chairmanship of Abdullah bin Nasser Turki al-Subaey. The aim is to complete the expansion work as soon as possible,” he added.
The expansion, which will increase the airport’s capacity from its current 50 million passengers, is being designed by British architects Foster and Partners.
Because of Qatar Airways’ growth, the airport is already beyond its current capacity. Qatar is hosting the prestigious FIFA 2022 World Cup for which additional airport capacity will become absolutely essential.
The HIA is home to national carrier Qatar Airways, which is one of the “fastest” growing airlines in the aviation history, with the country’s flagbearer now serving more than 150 destinations following the inauguration of 14 new destinations in 2016 alone.
Hamad International is the first airport in the Middle East to be award the prestigious Skytrax 5-Star Airport’ award and the sixth worldwide, after Hong Kong, Munich, Seoul Incheon, Singapore Changi and Tokyo Haneda.