Water inspires New Doha Airport

An artist’s impression of the New Doha International Airport

CONSTRUCTION on the water-inspired New Doha International Airport (NDIA) began January 2005.

One year down the line, progress is on schedule for the first and second phases, being developed concurrently, to be completed by the end of 2008. The project is regarded as key to Qatar’s national development strategy, functioning as a gateway to the world; the headquarters and hub for national carrier, Qatar Airways; and as a cargo and aircraft maintenance centre.
US engineering giant Bechtel, was awarded the contract to design the NDIA, and is also project and construction manager.
NDIA is being built on reclaimed land east of the existing airport and will be the world’s first airport to have been designed and built specially for the new Airbus A380-800 double-decker ‘super jumbo’. The $5.5 billion project is to be constructed in three phases, for completion between 2008 and 2015/22 (but following an Emiri decision in 2005, Phases I and II are being built concurrently). On completion, the airport – covering 22.5 sqkm – will be able to handle 50 million passengers and 1.5 million to 2 million tonnes of cargo per year. Forty percent of the site will be reclaimed land; around 63 million cubic metres of fill is being dredged from the sea according to NDIA design manager, Omran Assa, of Overseas Bechtel.
The first phase, costing $2.5 billion, has a 26-gate passenger terminal complex, two runways, maintenance hangar, cargo centre and extensive shopping facilities. When the airport opens at the end of 2008/beginning of 2009, it will be able to handle 12 million passengers a year and 750,000 tonnes of cargo.
NDIA will be one of the first airports in the world to accommodate unrestricted operations by all commercial aircraft, ultimately offering a mid-field passenger terminal with 100 aircraft stands. The 49,000 sqm cargo terminal has been designed for the processing and temporary storage of export and import cargo and also to act as a cargo transfer hub for Qatar Airways, with parking for seven freighters adjacent to the terminal.
NDIA is being designed on a ‘water’ theme, with a large landscaped lagoon and fountains at the entrance, and a wave design for the roof of the three-storey passenger terminal, which will ultimately cover 416,000 sqm and have 80 contact gates. The new Emiri Terminal has sails as its theme, to link to the main airport design. The Control Tower, which will be visible across Doha, reflects the shape of the crescent moon in its design.
The passenger terminal will have 25,000 metres of retail space, and NDIA will be served by both multi-storey short-term and long-term parking facilities.
The new airport will include a 100-room hotel within the terminal for the convenience of visitors and transit passengers, while luggage transfer time for those in transit in Doha will not exceed 30-45 minutes.