Officials and staff at the new cargo terminal.
DOHA: Hamad International Airport (HIA) started cargo operations on December 1, when it received its first Qatar Airways Cargo shipment for Qatar Petroleum from Europe at 10pm.
The new cargo terminal, which is one of the largest in the world, has the capacity to move 5,700 shipments simultaneously and handle 1.4 million tonnes of cargo per annum by 2015, representing a 75 percent increase from the current airport, Qatar Airways said in a statement.
The terminal is built over 77,000 square metres across two levels.
“Today marks a historic moment not just for HIA but also for Qatar Airways Cargo,” said an airline spokesperson.
“The cargo terminal complex will play a significant role in expanding our global cargo business and propelling Doha as the preferred cargo hub in the region.”
The terminal comprises a separate aircraft parking apron with space for 11 wide-body aircraft and 42 loading docks, a live animal centre, a dangerous goods area and a perishable storage area, making it conducive to handle large and varied cargo shipments.
The land side area of the terminal contains 32 truck-loading facilities to ensure efficient transfer of cargo in and out of Qatar, with full X-ray screening systems for maximum security.
The terminal is highly automated for increased cargo efficiency. HIA’s Cargo Terminal has an automated storage and retrieval system to swiftly locate and process up to 1,000 unit load devices (ULDs) at a time.
“As one of the fastest growing economies in the world, Qatar is in a solid position to become a major international gateway. A state-of-the-art infrastructure cargo is key to achieving this objective,” the spokesperson added.