The carrier, which is the biggest user as well as manager of the existing airport, said that detailed design work on the project will run through to 2005. The first construction package, covering the reclamation of 46 million square metres, is scheduled to begin in mid-2004 and will be followed in 2005 with work on the main airport facilities.

The development will be implemented in three phases. Besides reclamation, phase 1 will include the construction of:

a 4,850-metre runway and a 4,250-metre runway;

a 130,000-square-metre, three-storey terminal, with 24 contact gates and capacity of 12 million passengers a year;

seven remote gates;

an airport hotel next to the terminal and a 100-room hotel within the terminal;

an Emiri flight terminal for VIP flights;

an aircraft maintenance centre with hangars capable of accommodating two AirbusA380s and three A340s at any one time;

a 750,000-tonne-a-year cargo terminal;

a free trade zone and business park;

a new Qatar Airways headquarters building and training facility;

three new road interchanges.

The second-phase programme calls for the addition of a further 16 contact gates and five remote gates and the extension of the terminal to 219,000 square metres, taking capacity up to 24 million passengers a year. A suspended monorail will also be built along with a 100-room hotel for transit passengers. Phase 3 provides for a further 40 contact gates, bringing the total number up to 80, and a second terminal extension, which will see its built-up area reach 416,000 square metres. On completion in 2015, passenger capacity will reach 50 million a year.