Delays have hit the $11bn New Doha International airport, with the first two phases of the project now set to open in 2011, two years later than originally planned.

Sources close to the project tell MEED an official completion date is still to be announced by the client, the New Doha International Steering Committee, and its engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contractor, US-based Bechtel.

“There have been expansions and enhancements that have forced the reprogramming of the opening of the airport to combine phases one and two,” says one source. “It is client driven. The client wants to enhance the level of service at the airport above that in the original masterplan.”

The $3bn first phase of the project was originally scheduled for completion in late 2009, with the second phase scheduled to finish a year later.

It is understood that Bechtel was first informed of the changes in mid-2007, and by the end of last year had rescheduled the design project. It is now confirming commitments from other contractors to complete their work in time for the revised opening date.

According to the original masterplan, the first phase involves the construction of two runways and a 140,000-square-metre airport terminal with 24 contact gates and capacity to handle 12 million passengers a year. The second phase will double capacity to 24 million passengers a year, with the addition of a further 16 gates and about 80,000 sq m of space.

The final and third phase will be split in two. The first of these, phase 3a, involves the design and construction of the passenger terminal north node, a two-track people mover system, commercial and lounge areas and sections of two concourses. Phases 1, 2 and 3a will each cover about 600,000 sq m.

The final phase will further increase the size of the terminal and the number of contact gates to 80, taking overall capacity at the airport to 48 million passengers a year.

In 2006, Bechtel was given the notice to proceed on phase 3a of the airport project, and contractors have now been asked to prequalify for the construction works.

Several international contractors are working on various elements of the scheme. Sky Oryx, a consortium comprising Japan’s Taisei Corporation and Turkey’s TAV, is the main contractor for the passenger terminal, together with three concourses.

A joint venture of the local Construction Development Company (CDC) and Japan’s Takenaka Corporation is working on the Emiri terminal package. Athens-based Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC) is building the air traffic control building (MEED 2:2:07).

The project is one of the largest construction schemes in Qatar and is crucial for the future development of its national carrier, Qatar Airways.

NEW DOHA AIRPORT IN NUMBERS
Estimated cost of New Doha International airport $11bn
Phase 1 passenger capacity 12 million
Phase 2 passenger capacity 24 million
Rescheduled opening date 2011
Source: MEED