Qatar Airport Staff Told They Will Be "Dealt With" If World Cup Influx Goes Awry
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Hamad International Airport

Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Hamad International Airport

Qatar Airport Staff Told They Will Be "Dealt With" If World Cup Influx Goes Awry

airport , Doha , Qatar , news , soccer , Transportation , Travel News , world
Simone Cherí
Simone Cherí Oct 13, 2022

FIFA World Cup 2022, considered one of the most-watched sporting events in the world, kicks off next month. An estimated 1.2 million visitors are traveling to Qatar, causing concern for some. Insiders are worried Hamad International Airport is unprepared and are raising safety concerns, Daily Mail reports.

Inbound and outbound flights are expected to jump by more than 50%, from 700 per day to 1,600. The surge in air traffic will require additional staff to support the influx, leaving little time for new workers to get the required training.

In the report, Daily Mail shares that officials are scrambling to boost an already under-pressure staff. As new workers are drafted in from other countries, a number of existing workers have anonymously shared fears that the Doha-based facility is not ready for the increased activity.

hamad international airport aerial shot
Photo Credit: Hamad International Airport

The Pressure to Perform

Insiders, who are raising their concerns on an online forum for airport professionals, claim new recruits are getting a mere 20 to 30 hours of training, which they say is not enough time to learn the job. The status of the situation is so dire that staff members have been gagged and banned from leaving to find employment elsewhere.

In a memo to staff, Qatar Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA) makes it known that workers are being “closely monitored by high-level individuals and their representatives.” Described as “chilling” by Daily Mail, the message states “undesired acts from individuals to sabotage the event or be part of being a factor to delay or even to fail some of the projects will be totally unacceptable and dealt with firmly by the state.”

Insiders also believe the strain on the airport’s traffic control may lead to flights being re-routed to Dubai, a six-and-a-half hour driving distance from Doha. Such delays are likely to be the cause of thousands of fans missing matches.

Officials Maintain They Are Ready

QCAA officials are expressing a different tone publicly, which is to be expected. In a statement, QCAA said:

“QCAA air traffic control operates to the highest international standards and takes its responsibilities extremely seriously.

“Our prime objective is to ensure the safe and expeditious flow of air traffic and enhance the passenger journey for all users.

“In anticipation of the surge in traffic during the World Cup, the State of Qatar has upgraded its traffic control systems and executed meticulous plans that were conceived well in advance of hosting the event.

“Air traffic controllers undergo continuous training and checking as per international requirements. The training and safety management system of QCAA meets and exceeds standards as defined by the International Civil Aviation Organisation and we have been successfully audited to those standards.”

Are any Travel Noire readers heading to this year’s World Cup? Let us know in the comments.

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