Muscat: The Ministry of Transport and Communications wants the new airport in Muscat to be an “optimum” airport, in line with IATA standards.
“Categorising the Muscat International Airport will play a huge role in being able to handle 12 to 20 million passengers per year without changing the terminal’s infrastructure,” said MOTC in a tweet.
According to IATA, terminal facilities operating at an optimum level of service (OPTIMUM LoS) provide sufficient space to accommodate necessary funds in a comfortable environment, provide stable passenger flows with acceptable processing and waiting times, denote overall good service (comfort level) for passengers and balance economic terminal dimensions with passenger expectations.
The World Airlines Award 2016 ranked the best to worst 100 airports, based on a customer satisfaction survey. The Hamad International Airport, Doha, was ranked 10th globally and the first in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The Dubai International Airport, United Arab Emirates came second in the GCC and 27th globally, followed by the Bahrain International Airport, which was ranked 47th. However, further down the list, Oman secured the 94th position after dropping down from 77th in 2015. Kuwait and Saudi Arabia’s airports were not listed.
The ministry is seeking to increase its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) through better activation of the airport’s infrastructure. “We hope that Oman’s airports will be able to raise the capital in the civil aviation sector and achieve an increase in local production by way of growing passenger movement and cargo,” said MOTC.
“The benefits of being ranked as an optimum airport in the governorate is the high standard of service, as well as providing enough space for the highest comfort possible for passengers,” it added. The airport is designed according to IATA’s high standards regarding passenger service, the ministry added.
“There are many airports with a strong reputation that are also categorised as an ideal or optimum airport and they receive customer satisfaction prizes annually,” said the MOTC, which has been striving to improve the new airport’s ranking.
With the ambitious goal to make the new Muscat International Airport among the top 20 airports in the world, earlier this year, MOTC said the airport was 91 per cent complete.
The 580,000-square meter airport has the Level of Service A, according to IATA standards, which means it can accommodate 12 million passengers and up to a maximum of 18 million without any expansion and provide the optimum level of comfort for passengers using the airport. It can also accommodate the Airbus A380, the largest passenger aircraft in the world.