NDIA costs to hit $11bn
Doha, December 29, 2007
The initial cost of the New Doha International Airport (NDIA) project has jumped from the earlier $5.5 billion to $11 billion.
The cost rise has been attributed to the soaring prices of basic construction materials and their non-availability as well as the increase involved in bringing in skilled manpower, said the Peninsula newspaper.
According to the paper, a source said: “The increase is mainly due to the crisis with raw materials. Countries like China and India are sucking up essentials like aluminium and steel. And cement availability still continues to be a problem here.”
The rising cost of living here has had an adverse effect as well. “Unskilled manpower is easy to get but the problem arises when it comes to bringing in trained professionals, for management and supervisory roles.”
In fact, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker had made a fleeting mention of the project cost increase recently in Ahmedabad (India), where the airline had just launched its first flight to the city. Al Baker mentioned the $11 billion figure but did not go into specifics, nor was he pressed on the matter.
The rise in costs should come as no surprise as several projects in the country have been hit by delays and cost overruns. Matters have not been helped by a tight credit market.
The NDIA, however, is set to open on schedule, replacing the present facility from 2009. The first two phases of the airport will open in 2009 with the final phase being brought on-stream in 2015.
In its opening phase, NDIA will comfortably handle 24 million passengers per year and on final completion, the figure will significantly rise to 50 million, 320,000 aircraft movements per annum and two million tonnes of cargo.
Moving walkways will be installed to handle the expected traffic and check-in and duty-free shopping areas 12 times will be larger than the space available at the current airport. NDIA will be environmentally-friendly and is to be equipped with carbon dioxide sensors and a tinted roof to save energy.
As the country works towards shoring up infrastructure, NDIA will be the crowning glory of all the work being carried out. And with Qatar Airways having Airbus A380 super-jumbo aircraft on order, the two runways at NDIA are being built to ensure the runways can accommodate the mammoth jets.
One runway will measure 4,850 metres and will be the second-longest in the world, while the second will be 4,250 metres-long.