Preparations for the first phase opening of Qatar's new Hamad International Airport on April 1 are well underway.
The airport will be operated by Qatar Airways and the first phase of the $15.5 billion project involves 12 international airlines, including low-cost carriers, becoming the launch carriers of the new facility.
Qatar Airways will move its entire operations to Hamad International Airport in the second half of the year.
Until recently, the airport was known under the project working name New Doha International Airport.
Doha will have a dual airport operation until full operations begin at Hamad International in the second half of 2013.
Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA) chairman, Abdul Aziz Al Noiami, said: “Hamad International Airport will truly be a global showpiece that the State of Qatar will justifiably be proud of.
“The airlines that we will shortly welcome to Hamad International Airport will make history becoming the first commercial operators of flights to and from the world’s newest aviation hub.
“2005 seems like only yesterday when the foundation stone was laid for work to start on the new airport project. Eight years on and we are just weeks away from the latest chapter in the airport’s history with the start of operations.
“A new workplace and stunning architectural masterpiece will enhance the skyline of Doha providing new surroundings for airport employees and the travelling public from around the world.”
Al Noaimi said the cargo operations and catering facilities would be ready for operations within weeks.
HOK designed the 600,000 sqm, three-story, main passenger terminal, and five concourses.
Hamad International Airport will initially handle 28 million passengers, increasing to 50 million beyond 2015.
Qatar Airways CEO, Akbar Al Baker, said: “This is an historic year for the State of Qatar, Qatar Airways and the country’s young aviation industry.
“Qatar Airways, as the operator of the new Hamad International Airport and main user of the facility, looks forward to welcoming airlines and passengers to the airport in just a few weeks’ time opening up a new era for our country.”