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Doha International Airport Signs New Runway Debris Detection System From Uk-Based Qinetiq

Doha, QATAR – Doha International Airport in the State of Qatar is to install Tarsier, a new runway debris detection system developed by international defence and security technology company QinetiQ.

The announcement was made at the Dubai Air Show today following a contract signing by Akbar Al Baker, Chief Executive Officer of Doha International Airport, and Phil McLachlan, Managing Director of QinetiQ Airport Technologies.

Tarsier will detect foreign object debris (FOD) on the single runway at Doha International Airport, which at 4,572 metres is one of the longest in the world.  Three radars will scan the runway area 24 hours a day and in all weathers, locating objects that could be drawn into engines or damage aircraft systems.

Al Baker, who is also CEO of Qatar Airways, said: "Safety is an absolute priority for us and Doha International Airport has an excellent safety record. We see Tarsier as an integral part of our safety management system because it inspects the runway continuously with no disruption to aircraft movements. This will bring us both cost and operational benefits, but more importantly, is a commitment to have an airport operation which is fully safety driven.”


Added McLachlan:”Qatar is experiencing strong growth in airport traffic and its ambitious plans for a new, state-of-the-art airport are well on the way to being realised. This agreement marks an important step in the development of the QinetiQ Airport Technologies business and I am delighted that Tarsier will now play an important part in the growth of Doha International Airport."

The number of passengers using Doha International Airport has rocketed from 2 million to 10 million over the last 10 years.  As a result, the New Doha International Airport is expected to open in 2009 with a capacity of 50 million passengers a year once fully completed.  QinetiQ and Qatar Airways are currently in negotiations about the potential installation of a Tarsier system to cover the two runways at the New Doha International Airport when they go operational.

QinetiQ's dialogue with Qatar Airways has been supported by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), the UK Government organisation that helps UK companies look to develop international business and provides support for overseas companies wishing to invest in the UK.

Lord Digby Jones, UK Minister for Trade and Investment said: “QinetiQ is a world class example of the UK’s technological and innovative expertise when it comes to passenger and aircraft safety systems. UKTI played an important role in bringing together QinetiQ and Qatar Airways to find a safe solution to the dangerous and costly problem of Foreign Object Debris currently facing the aviation industry.”

About Doha International Airport:
Doha International Airport is operated and managed by Qatar Airways, the national airline of the State of Qatar. More than 35 airlines operate to Qatar with Qatar Airways accounting for around 80 per cent of the traffic to and from Doha. The airport has the longest commercial runway in the world. The New Doha International Airport, which is set to open in 2009, will have an open day operation of 12 million passengers a year, and greatly help relieve congestion at the current airport.

About QinetiQ:
QinetiQ (pronounced ki net ik as in 'kinetic energy') is a leading international defence and security technology business that was formed in July 2001 from the UK Government's Defence Evaluation & Research Agency (DERA). QinetiQ has approximately 13,500 employees, who deliver technology-based services and exploit QinetiQ's strengths in technology research by selling systems solutions, products and licences to government and commercial customers in a spectrum of defence, security and related commercial markets. For further information, click onto www.QinetiQ.com

Qatar Airways Corporate Communications
Tel: +974 4496956, Fax: +974 4620132
E-mail: qrmedia@qatarairways.com.qa
Website: www.qatarairways.com

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