New airport plan for Oman progressing, says PACA chief
July 23, 2019 | 9:00 PM
by Al Sayyida Halima Al Busaidi/[email protected]
Dr Mohammed bin Nasser bin Ali Al Zaabi, Chief Executive Officer of the Public Authority for Civil Aviation.

Muscat: A project which was set up to study the possibility of opening an airport in Musandam has moved to its second phase, according to the head of the Public Authority for Civil Aviation.

Speaking about the Musandam airport project, Dr Mohammed bin Nasser bin Ali Al Zaabi, Chief Executive Officer of the Public Authority for Civil Aviation, said: “The first stage of the project has been completed. It involved determining all possibilities and challenges, and a detailed study resulted in recommendations for the best location for a new airport.”

“The second phase of the project, which is considered one of the most important, has been initiated. This phase includes estimating the cost of the project and preparing the general outline of the airport in accordance with the best international specifications.”

Al Zaabi’s comments came in a report issued by the Public Authority for Civil Aviation regarding their annual achievements to mark Renaissance Day.

The airport would be the sixth serving the country, in addition to Muscat, Salalah, Sohar, Duqm and Khasab.

The chairman highlighted that the Sultanate is witnessing a noticeable growth in air activity.

Speaking about the importance of developing and expanding the country’s airports in order to achieve sustainable prosperity globally, Al Zaabi said: “Muscat International Airport which was opened in 2018 is one of the fruits of the blessed Renaissance, with its reinforcement of the economic sector in the Sultanate. The airport has not only leapt in its global rankings from 74th place to 18th place but has also been granted various awards such as best airport in the Middle East in 2019 with the highest level of traveller satisfaction and most pioneering tourism development project in the Middle East. The new Salalah Airport was ranked sixth globally in its category. Furthermore, recently Salalah Airport became the first regional airport in the Middle East with a five-star ranking and won “Best Regional Airport Award”, ranking fourth worldwide.

Al Zaabi also said that the launch of Duqm airport this year facilitated easy access to the area which is of economic and industrial importance, “Despite the fact that the airport serves commercial movement it has become a part of bringing tourism to the area as well.”

The chairman went on to discuss the authority’s efforts in preserving the environment and air quality saying, “ Based on the firm belief in the consequences of environmental pollution, the authority has begun implementing treatments in order to preserve the Sultanate’s air quality. “

“The authority has also put in place a long term economic strategic plan which includes realistic measures and technical solutions to reduce the effects of pollutants,” Al Zaabi added.

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