Qatar has formed a new agency, which will take on the responsibility of developing the next phase of the Hamad International airport.

The new entity, to be called Hamad International Airport (HIA) Steering Committee, is understood to take over the role of the New Doha International Airport (NDIA) Steering Committee, which was the client for the initial development of the airport.

However, the new committee will still closely resemble the NDIA in that the members comprise key executives from the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA), the country’s aviation regulator, and Qatar Airways, the national carrier.

It is understood that the new committee will be chaired by Abdullah Nasser Turki al-Subaie, who is chairman of the QCAA. Akbar al-Baker, chief executive at Qatar Airways, has been named vice-chairman.

Representatives for Qatar Airways and the NDIA have not responded to MEED’s request for comment. A government source, however, confirmed the changes.

There are plans to expand the airport to accommodate rising demand. The airport processed over 30 million passengers in 2015, equal to its capacity. It processed 17.6 million passengers in the first half of 2016, which means it is well on its way to exceed its capacity this year.

Al-Baker has told an international conference in June that the design work for the airport expansion is expected to be completed by the end of 2016 and that construction work was to start shortly. The executive said the expansion needs to be completed by 2020.

The plan comprises three main elements: the extension of the main terminal building; the construction of concourse D and E; and the connection with the Red Line of the Doha Metro.

The main terminal expansion will feature a new premium check-in area comprising 17 new counters, which will be served by a new access road and kerbside drop-off point to the east of the main terminal building. To the west, 47 new economy check-in counters will be built in addition to new baggage carousels

The planned expansion is expected to take the airport’s capacity from the current 30 million passengers a year to 50 million by 2021. 

UK-based Foster+Partners is the main project consultant.

The $15.5bn Hamad International airport (formerly New Doha International airport) opened in April 2014, some six years behind schedule.

The NDIA appointed the US’ Bechtel in 2003 for the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract of the airport. This was followed by the award of over 300 contracts, including the $1bn contract for the passenger terminal complex awarded to a joint venture of Japan’s Taisei Corporation and Turkey’s TAV Gulf.

A few projects for the airport are expected to be awarded before end of 2016 including a baggage-handling system, fit-out works for the North Node loungers, and a car park.