HIA expansion: 'We are building something really out of this world' - GCEO Akbar Al Baker

  • 2 months   ago
HIA expansion: 'We are building something really out of this world' -  GCEO Akbar Al Baker

The Peninsula Qatar

The work of final phase of expansion of Hamad International Airport (HIA) will begin from January 2023. The expansion will increase the capacity of the airport to handle over 65 million passengers annually, said Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, H E Akbar Al Baker.   

Speaking about expansion plans of HIA at the Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo 2020, Akbar Al Baker said: “We are building something really out of this world. We are expanding a huge area of western runway. We are also building a north node of Hamad International Airport which will increase the capacity to over 55 million passengers.” 

“June 2022 onwards when the expansions are ready, giving us enough time to do ORAT (Operational Readiness, Activation, and Transition process) on the area before we open the gates of that part of the airport for passengers before 2022 FIFA championships. Then immediately, after the FIFA tournament is over, from January 2023 we will then do the final expansion of the airport bringing the total number of passengers at per annum to over 65 million passengers,” he added. 

Last year in November, HIA had announced plans for second phase expansion to enhance the airport’s capacity to more than 60 million passengers annually. The second phase of expansion of the airport consists of Phase A and B. 

“We are also hoping that this will be a huge showcase not only to my country but making HIA a destination for passengers of the future,” added Al Baker.


HIA’s expansion plan includes construction of an indoor tropical garden, a water feature, new cargo terminal, new transfer area to shorten passengers’ connection time, landscaped retail and F&B space and other new features. The work for Phase A expansion has already been started.

Over the years, HIA has played a critical role as a key contributor to the diversification of the nation’s economy. In the fiscal year 2019-20, Qatar’s airport has recorded significant growth momentum in its operational capacity and has championed technology adoption. 

From April 2019 to March 2020, HIA served a total of 37.95 million  arriving, departing and transferring passengers, an 8.63 percent increase compared to the previous fiscal year. 

“We are responsible for the total passenger experience. On the ground in the air and of course when it comes to shop, so we want to make sure that we are in total control of all the products that we put, that we control the price, that we make sure that we are meeting the standards that our passengers want and making also sure that we have the diversity of products,” he added.