How Hamad International has adapted after seven years of activity
Hamad International Airport, Qatar’s 5-star gateway to the world, has been a pioneer since its inception. Opened on May 27, 2014, it has now been in operation for seven years. As the airport celebrates its anniversary, let’s take a look at some of its main achievements in recent years.
Try the challenge
Before the global health crisis hit, HIA was going through a period of strong growth in passenger numbers and airline partners, which allowed it to attract notable retail, art and entertainment offerings. He was also investing heavily in technology to improve the experience of passing people. Even after the outbreak of the pandemic, the airport has not slowed down new introductions. On the contrary, it has redefined the priority of its technological investments.
For health and safety reasons, the airport has implemented UV disinfectant robots. They are fully self-contained mobile devices, which emit concentrated UVD light to reduce the number of distant germs when applied effectively at prescribed levels.
Other recent innovations include a detection system that uses artificial intelligence and computer vision technologies to automatically detect if airport personnel are wearing masks. C2 security screening systems are also in place to allow passengers to go through security checkpoints without having to remove their electronic devices from their luggage, thus avoiding the risk of cross-contamination from surfaces.
Overall, these initiatives are part of the HIA’s plan to stick to its long-term goals while operating safely. Notably, between April 2020 and April 2021, it recorded a 381% increase in passenger traffic year over year, 142% in aircraft movements and a 70% slope in freight movements.
Remain in service
Thus, the airport has shown that it can stick to its overall strategy while adapting. He previously shared the following with Simple Flying.
“HIA has a strong business continuity plan in place that has helped it adapt to the current pandemic by prioritizing the safety of passengers and staff while minimizing the risk of infection among them. The airport’s efforts on this front were recently awarded ISO 22301: 2012 Business Continuity Management System certification by the British Standards Institution (BSI). This award is a testament to HIA’s efforts to ensure operational continuity in the face of an unprecedented crisis, making it one of the first airports in the world to achieve this award.
Importantly, while airlines and airports around the world suspended operations in the spring of last year due to the challenges of the pandemic, the HIA has remained open to travelers. This decision was crucial in helping passengers return home and reconnect with loved ones during the difficult conditions. It partnered well with Qatar Airways to repatriate millions of people last year. For example, 150,000 sailors have been repatriated and the airport has even set up a Mariner Lounge dedicated to those who work in this field.
Currently, HIA serves 142 destinations, including bubble flights, and is home to 33 airlines operating at the airport. The latest additions are Air Canada, Badr Airlines and Vistara, all of which started operations in 2020.
Going forward, ahead of the highly anticipated Qatar 2022 World Cup, HIA is looking to increase its capacity to 58 million passengers per year with its airport expansion project. Following this, the airport is looking to increase that number even more to 60 million per year.
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Qatar Airport is expanding to complement the growth of its national carrier, Qatar Airways, and the country’s diversification into tourism. The expansion will include an indoor tropical garden and water feature, more retail and dining options, as well as a spa salon, gym, restaurants and business centers.
Nevertheless, it wishes to make lasting progress, committing to improving carbon efficiency per unit of traffic to 30%. It is also expanding its efforts in wastewater management solutions.
Currently, HIA has a Level 3 Airport Council International’s Airport certification
Carbon accreditation program. It is therefore on the right track with regard to environmental objectives. Overall, these goals are part of the airport’s larger mission to grow while serving its passengers in a safe and sustainable manner.
From personal experience, the tailored and elegant experience at HIA can be seen throughout the passenger’s journey. The freshness of the site is still felt after seven years. Airport staff are attentive from check-in to boarding, and lounge service is hard to match.
What do you think of HIA’s progress? Let us know what you think in the comments section.