Muscat: The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Monday reviewed, during its media briefing, the executive position of the CAA strategic plans, the achievements it accomplished during 2022, and its plan for 2023.
Eng. Nayef Ali Al Abri, CAA Chairman, said that the civil aviation sector achieved satisfactory recovery rates in all airports of the Sultanate of Oman in 2022 after the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The aviation sector witnessed a noticeable increase in terms of passenger traffic, freight traffic, and the number of inbound and outbound flights compared to 2021, Al Abri added.
He referred to the increase of flights traffic through Muscat International Airport during 2022 by 87 percent, as the number of flights reached 76,392. The number of passengers also grew by 129 percent to stand at more than 8,602,000 passengers, and freight traffic rose by 34 percent.
Al Abri said that the total revenues of the CAA during 2022 stood at OMR72,043,292 as it witnessed an increase of OMR26,430,818 comprising 58 percent. It also witnessed an increase in the expense rate, which stood at about OMR221,000, comprising 1 percent compared to 2021.
He elaborated that Sohar Airport witnessed an increase in air traffic during 2022 by 28 percent, and an increase in the number of passengers by 122 percent. Duqm Airport witnessed an increase as well in the number of passengers by 37 percent, while aircraft traffic decreased by 21 percent.
Al Abri explained that there has been an increase in the number of open skies agreements over 2022, reaching 66 agreements with 122 countries. The total number of flight permits reached 10,962.
CAA Chairman further said that among the Authority's achievements during 2022 were the adoption of the national plan for aviation safety, the project to install a hydrogen generator, the establishment of a new automatic meteorological station in the Wilayat of Barka, and identifying tsunami risk areas for the cell broadcast system.
Al Abri pointed out that the total air traffic in the Sultanate of Oman during 2022 reached 470,809 flights, and the total number of aircraft crossing the Omani airspace reached 386,391 flights.
He added that the renewed aircraft in the Sultanate of Oman during 2022 stood at 83 airplanes, the newly registered aircraft 11, and 83 licenses issued for activities of unmanned aircraft.
He mentioned that among the most important projects and programmes that the CAA is working on during 2023 are the implementation of the first phase of construction of Musandam Airport project (consultancy studies), the rehabilitation of the southern runway at Muscat International Airport, and the updating of the National Civil Aviation Strategy 2040.
As for the fares of air tickets, the CAA Chairman, told Oman News Agency (ONA) that there are currently some incentives for citizens in the domestic flights, such as preferential prices that exist and are applied whether on Oman Air or Salam Air. He hoped that new alliances to be made between Oman Air and Salam Air.
The competition pursued by the CAA represented in the introduction of amphibious aircraft, which would reduce ticket prices, he added.
Abdullah Rashid Al Khadouri, Director General of Meteorology at the CAA, said that “Muzn” programme seeks to upgrade the early warning system, qualify and train the national human cadres technically and scientifically, and raise the efficiency, accuracy and quality of warnings, alerts, meteorological services and early warning.
He added that among the programme's projects are the modernization of the satellite system, the numerical prediction system, the valley (wadi) overflow prediction project and the installation of Muscat radar, which is expected to be completed in May 2023.
Mubarak Saleh Al Ghailani, General Supervisor of Air Navigation at the CAA, said that the "Irtiqaa" programme seeks to raise the compliance rate in aviation safety and security indicators.
The programme is concerned with developing air navigation through modernizing air traffic management systems and improving air reconnaissance and communications systems, he added.
Hamid Ahmed Al Barashdi, Director General of Strategic Planning at the CAA, said that the "Ithmaar" programme aims to enhance the investment field in the civil aviation sector, maximize the benefit from infrastructure and contribute to the gross domestic product.
He mentioned that "Nomu" or “growth” programme is concerned with the national strategy for civil aviation. It aims to review the civil aviation strategy in order to support its alignment with objectives of Oman Vision 2040 and the integrated planning between the components of the sector in a bid to raise the level of operational efficiencies, quality and traffic growth.
Zahraa Saif Al Manji, Director General of Support Services at the CAA, said that the "Kafa’aat" or “competency” project aims to build strategic partnerships with public sector institutions and government companies, and to build and develop human capacities in specialized and rare jobs.
In her turn, Munira Mohammed Al Raisi, Director of Information Technology at the CAA said that the "digitization" programme is concerned with digital transformation in the Authority.
There are several strategic objectives of the programme that include raising the ranking of the Sultanate of Oman in evaluating the e-services development index and ensuring the sustainability and continuity of the digital business environment within the Authority, she concluded.