Qatar unprepared for World Cup air traffic crush, report says | Opinion
Qatar is unprepared for the crush of air traffic ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, according to one of the world’s leading air traffic management specialists.
In a report for Airports Council International, Richard Brown claims Qatar Airways will not be able to manage “the unprecedented volume of traffic that results from competing for the World Cup”.
Airports Council International, a professional body with close links to the Qatar Airports Authority, has long argued any major global sporting event should be handled by a world-class airport authority like Frankfurt or Melbourne.
In an exclusive interview with The World Game, Brown said: “Our view is that they [Qatar] are not adequately prepared.
“They have an antiquated air traffic management system, one based on a European model, designed over a 70-year period. It’s not a model that can be modified to meet current demands.
“We see this as a major risk given the nature and scale of the event and the fact that they have a small, single, very short runway, for which they have little experience, and very poor management practices.”
Qatar has repeatedly dismissed suggestions that the World Cup will be a financial burden on the country.
A spokesman for the Qatar Ministry of Finance told the BBC’s World Today: “In the event of a World Cup, we have worked with the World Bank to set up an International Airport Development Fund and we plan to utilise this fund to support any infrastructure needs at the airport, which will be supported by the Qatari and international community.”
The World Bank has told The World Game not to print the names of the World Cup teams and stadiums used by Qatar Airways.
But a recent article in The Guardian suggests they will be naming the stadiums they will use, and their teams. The paper reported: “The BBC is also in possession of photographs showing official Qatar Airways flights to Russia, Italy, France and Germany, and shows what appears to be a team of planes bearing the Qatari flag.”
If that is correct, it will be the first time one of the countries associated with a world event has been given permission by