Muscat: With the ambitious goal of becoming one of the top 20 airports in the world, the new Muscat international airport terminal is more than 90 per cent complete and passengers could be using it as early as next year.
Read here: World's biggest airliners can land at Muscat International Airport
Dr. Mohammad Al Zaabi, CEO of the Public Authority for Civil Aviation said, “After completion, the airport will be handed over to the operating companies such as Oman Airport Management Company (OAMC), Oman Air and Royal Oman Police.”
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“No doubt that they have a work plan called “operational readiness” and the airport will be operational after that. It is known worldwide that it takes six months (to complete).
“Be we can’t jump the gun and say exactly when the airport will be operational because it is a huge project packed with modern technology which needs training and familiarisation which takes time; so the airport will need to be operated according to standards.”
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The 580,000 square metre airport has the Level of Service A according to International Air Transport Association (IATA) standard which means it can accommodate 12 million passengers up to a maximum of 18 million without any expansion and provide the optimum level of comfort for passengers using the airport.
“There is a study with the OAMC about the future expansions done in phases for future passenger intakes. For the first expansion phase the airport can take in 24 million, then 36 million and finally 48 million passengers,” said Al Zaabi.
Two terminals have also been built to accommodate heavy aircraft such as the Boeing 747 and Airbus A380 while considering the amount of passengers each aircraft carries.
When asked whether the airport can handle large aircraft, Al Zaabi said, “The airport was designed to receive the biggest and most modern aircraft. In 2014 we opened the new runway which is 4km long and 75m wide.”
“This runway is up to international standards and in fact several large aircraft have landed in Muscat, especially the Airbus A380,” he added. Al Zaabi ended by saying that they are aiming for Muscat International Airport to be among the top twenty airports in the world according to the strategy announced by OAMC.