Muscat: Statistics have revealed a big jump in the number of Omani women working in different operational roles at the Sultanate’s airports compared to the last decade.
Currently, women comprise about 40 per cent of the workforce at different airports in the country. They are in roles ranging from jobs like air navigations, terminal duty, baggage handling, guest services, check-in counters, flight dispatching to safety and security. The total number of workers in the aviation field in Oman is 24,833, of which 9,300 are Omani women.
“We now get more opportunities than before. I remember when I started at Muscat Airport, there were not many women working but now, there are a good number of them contributing in different fields of the aviation,” Duaa Juma Al Hashmi, Baggage Handling System Duty Manager at Oman Airports, told Times of Oman.
Other Omani women in the aviation field echo the same sentiments. “Women made a big jump compared to ten years ago in the aviation field. The airport and its operations were dominated by men but now we see more women specialising in different areas joining the civil aviation and the airport field duties. This is something, for us as a nation, to be proud of,” Amal Al Haaidi, an assistant supervisor at the office of the Director of Strategic Management at the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), told Times of Oman.
Oman has four main airports and three regional ones in different parts of the country serving both the business community and passengers. Until the early seventies, Oman had only a landing strip located at Bait Al Falaj in Ruwi. Built in the 1950s, it was replaced by Muscat International Airport when it was opened in 1973. Other airports in Oman are in Salalah, Sohar and Duqm. These are supported by smaller regional airports in Marmul, Fahud and Qarn Alam.
Veteran officials at the Muscat Airport acknowledged the progress made by Omani women by occupying different positions in the aviation field.
“It is very gratifying to see many women taking up positions at the airports. It is a big progress in the aviation fields and the one we are proud of. For example, at the ground handling services, 35 per cent of our staff are women,” Omar Saif Al Mahrooki, General Manager of Operations at the Ground Handling Services, told Times of Oman.