New Doha airport delayed to mid-2014

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Commissioning of Qatar’s new Doha airport, Hamad International, is being pushed back again with the facility set to undergo a phased opening by mid-2014.

The New Doha International Airport steering committee has disclosed that Hamad will open “in the middle of this year”.

It marks a further shift in the schedule, following recent indications that the government was aiming to open the airport in early 2014.

But steering committee chairman Abdul Aziz Mohammad Al-Noaimi insists that the airport is “on track” regarding the new timetable.

“I am proud to confirm today that this project is nearly complete,” he says.

The capital airport will have more capacity available on its opening day that originally intended, the committee adds. Higher transit traffic has spurred modifications, the committee says, to ensure the airport can handle 30 million passengers from the outset.

“Despite delays, which were a result of changes requested during construction to expand the project, as well as challenges we faced regarding some contracts, we are on track for a mid-year opening,” Al-Noaimi says.

The airport terminal will initially have three concourses and 33 gates.

Qatar Airways will be the primary operator. The steering committee adds that a third phase, due to begin in 2015, will be accelerated to quicken its completion.