The Hamad International Airport’s phase two expansion plan, which was launched last year, will enable the airport to accommodate more than 53mn passengers annually by 2022.
Phase two of the expansion plan marks a “key development in the airport’s growth and in Qatar’s transportation and communications sector,” HIA said Tuesday.
In addition to the “immediate benefits” of increased space and capacities, the construction of the Airport City will also provide “significant future investment opportunities” including a free trade zone, office and business complex, and hotels.
A new cargo terminal will also be constructed, increasing the HIA’s capacity to 3mn tonnes per year and accommodating the expected surge in freight traffic. The developments in infrastructure play a key role in Qatar’s preparations to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, where the country will witness a spike in tourists and visitors to experience the global sporting event.
The year 2018 also saw the completion of the first major phase of ‘Innovative Smart Airport Programme’.
The programme will enable the 5-star home carrier Qatar Airways to process more than 25% of its passengers using self-service check-in and bag-drop facilities.
The airport in partnership with SITA and CCM commissioned as many as 62 next-generation self-service check-in kiosks and 12 self-service bag drops including future biometric technology capability. The kiosks are spread across the departures check-in hall and enable passengers to check-in, print boarding passes and bag tags; tag their bags; and drop them at the bag drop before proceeding to border control. A mobile Automated Visa Document Check, which is the first of its kind in any major airport worldwide has also been implemented which enables ground services agents to check a passenger’s visa documentation before continuing their journey.
HIA chief operating officer Badr Mohamed al-Meer said “2019 will be a continuation of success and key developments for the airport, as phase two of our multi-story expansion plan begins. As we deliver a world-class airport experience, our continued investments in infrastructure, cutting-edge technology, and front-line processing solutions will continue to shape HIA as a leading aviation hub and position us to set new standards and records across the industry.”
Amid the projected increase in passenger traffic this year, HIA remains ahead of the curve and accomplished an industry-leading transfer security screening which resulted in significantly shorter queuing times at security points by introducing more services for transferring passengers. This has ensured that at least 95% of the airport’s transfer passengers queue for under five minutes.
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