Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Opening of Qatar’s brand new mega-airport delayed at last minute… what happened?

The opening of Hamad International Airport has been delayed again
Delays continue with Hamad International Airport
I was planning a special blog post to celebrate the opening of Qatar’s much-awaited Hamad International Airport yesterday… something that would capture the general excitement that this ambitious project has generated around the world.

However, there’s been a delay. Not a delay in writing the blog post, but a last-minute delay in opening Doha’s brand new airport!

Hours before the inaugural Qatar Airways aircraft was scheduled to arrive at 12.20am, an announcement was made that the Hamad International Airport has apparently failed to meet the new safety and security standards of the country’s Civil Defence Department.

Delays aside, it’s still a great project, so I thought we could re-visit the photo album of Hamad International Airport, which I posted earlier this year. Did you know, it's the most visited part of this blog to date… so if you haven’t viewed the images yet, or want to view them again, click here!

By the way, a revised opening date will be announced soon, according to Abdul Aziz Al Nuaimi, Chairman of the New Doha International Airport (NDIA) Steering Committee.

“The NDIA Steering Committee commends the efforts of the Ministry of Interior represented by the Department of Civil Defence for their commitment to raising standards of safety and security in Qatar,” he stated.

“The Hamad International Airport project has been completed by a number of international contractors who have supervised the system-readiness of the airport and have already issued international certificates in the domain of safety and security.”

The airport has already suffered a number of delays, after missing its original target to commence operations in 2010. This was moved to 18th November 2011, and then 12th December 2012 (12/12/12) and most recently 1st April 2013.

In a biting remark, the local Arabic daily Al Arab stated: “We are now awaiting the fifth date for the opening and several Qataris have started asking about the end of this Mexican television drama series.” Ouch!

What are your views on this development? Is this embarrassing for Qatar or has the country made the right decision? As always, please feel free to share your comments here, and you can also get in touch on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ - I look forward to connecting with you!


  1. How many heads rolled as a result of this delay. Did the inspector also had to go as a result of failing the airport.

  2. Mohammed Al-JufairiApril 2, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    It was an embarrassment. I was there at DOH1 and they cancelled it 2 hours before launch. There were passengers and media there.

    1. SO, you rather take a chance a depart on time even though there might be technical issues that can end your life? An airline is responsible for the safety of the passengers and that is at a Federal level. If you don't like it then write to the FAA or go confront the Federal government on their policies and laws. The airline was only making sure you were all safe but as usual coward always shoot the messengers. No glory,no bullocks to confront those who implemented the standards in the first place. All passengers who think like you and sided with that passenger make sure you don't pull that stunt in North America, you can kiss you travels good bye.

  3. From my point of view, failure to meet a deadline has no other name but “Failure” so failure to meet four different deadlines three years apart is nothing but a “BIG FAILURE” whatever the reasons behind, it could be bad planning or inexperience from the project manager, but it denotes an absence of leadership and coordination.

  4. Sebastian HejnowskiApril 7, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    Yet another airport not finished on time. Comes as no surprise as even the Germans cannot meet their deadline.

  5. New safety and security standards of the country’s Civil Defence Department came out of nowhere and the ORAT Teams probably didn't know a thing about. For me this sounds like a constructed argument and safety is always a good one, as safety comes first. Anything else not ready for operation, i.e. ATC?


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