Posted on January 15, 2020

Hamad International Airport (HIA) announced that it successfully served a record high influx of passengers during the winter holiday peak period, handling 1 Million passengers in the first week of January 2020 marking the average of 138,649 passengers in a 24 hour period, which is the most number of passengers handling in a single day, while maintaining its high standards of passenger experience and operational excellence.

Queuing times at key touchpoints of the airport were significantly reduced with average wait times as low as 1 minute 20 seconds at transfer security and 2 minutes 24 seconds at arrival immigration. 99.4 per cent of passengers transferring through HIA queued for less than 5 minutes at transfer security screening, with the average wait time being only 1 minute 20 seconds. This is an industry-leading achievement which has been maintained throughout 2019 and was accomplished by training highly professional staff according to the latest international aviation security standards and as many as 49 screening lanes being operated simultaneously during peak times.

Almost 100 per cent of transfer passengers with Minimum Connecting Time (MCT) of 45 minutes or less were connected to their onward flights without delay. This was achieved by conducting their security screening at select contact gates which have been equipped with X-ray machines and walk through metal detectors, instead of having them go through security screening at the transfers’ hall. This is another industry wide achievement which was accomplished throughout 2019. HIA also plans to adopt advanced screening technologies which won’t require passengers to remove laptops from cabin bags, further improving the passengers’ travel experience.

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96.5 per cent of arriving passengers at HIA at certain peak periods queued for less than 10 minutes at immigration with the average waiting time being as low as 2 minutes 24 seconds. To minimise any inconvenience to customers, the airport offered complimentary parking to its customers during the peak periods so passengers could be dropped off and picked up with ease. Waiting times at the taxi pavilion were also kept at a minimum and free luggage loading services were offered to passengers.

The self-service kiosks implemented in the terminal by HIA as part of its Smart Airport programme has automated the check-in, bag-drop and pre-immigration security processes, which has allowed departing passengers to be processed even faster. With the use of innovative software solutions that forecast passenger traffic in real-time and measure waiting times, the airport was able to proactively minimise queuing times.  

Earlier this year, HIA announced its successful operations in 2019, having served a record 38.8 million passengers, which is the most number of passengers it has served since the start of its operations in 2014, showing a year-on-year growth of 12.44% compared to passenger numbers in 2018.

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HIA’s rapid growth is being addressed by its massive expansion project, Phase A of the expansion is set to comprise of a central concourse linking concourses D and E and will increase the airport’s capacity to more than 53 million passengers annually by 2022. Phase B, which will be completed after 2022, will extend concourses D and E to further enhance the airport’s capacity to more than 60 million passengers annually. The expansion project will also feature a 10,000 sqm indoor tropical garden, a 268 sqm water feature, 11,720 sqm of landscaped retail and F&B space and 9,000 sqm of world-class Al Mourjan lounge.

HIA is currently a candidate for the “Best Airport in the World” award by Skytrax which also classified it as a five-star airport in 2017, making it one among only five other airports in the world and the only one in the Middle East to achieve this prestigious status. Currently holding the “Fourth-Best Airport in the World” and the “Best Airport in the Middle East” titles, HIA continuously works to improve all aspects of the passenger experience. The results of the Skytrax World Airport Awards will be announced in March 2020. Passengers can vote for HIA by visiting the Official Skytrax World Airport Survey website at: