Muscat, Salalah, regional airports work in top gear



Muscat: The Muscat International Airport expansion project is 52 per cent complete now and plans are afoot to complete the new runway, the building of the Public Authority for Civil Aviation (PACA), air traffic control tower, and air traffic management complex by the end of 2013, said Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communications.

He was talking on the sidelines of a familiarisation visit to the project site. The minister was accompanied by senior officials of the ministry, Public Authority for Civil Aviation, Oman Airports Management Company, Betel-ENKA-Bahwan Engineering Company and project management firms.

On the new Salalah airport, Dr. Al Futaisi said the project is 50 per cent complete now and the concrete works were completed, including the passengers terminal and air traffic control tower. He added that the installation of operation systems and equipment has already started and the new runway is expected to be completed by mid-2013.

Regarding regional airport development, Dr. Al Futaisi pointed out that the first stage of all airports has been completed. As for the second stage, the construction of the runways has almost been completed at Adam Airport and is about to be completed at Sohar Airport, Duqum Airport, and Ras Al Hadd Airport.

The Adam Airport has been changed from civilian to military use and the ministry would hand it over the Ministry of Defence.

Salim bin Nasser Al Oufi, CEO of PACA, pointed out that seven stations for measuring the sea surface level were installed and many projects have been awarded, including 10 GPS stations and five radars for observing marine waves and currents.

Al Oufi said that a large number of engineers, technicians, meteorology specialists, air controllers and administrative personnel received training within and outside the Sultanate. "A contract has also been signed with Nizwa University for the training of 40 new employees on communication skills in English language," he further said.

Earlier in the day, three agreements were signed by two main contractors with sub-contractors including Betel-ENKA-Bahwan Engineering consortium signing a pact with Services and Trade Company for supplying wooden/acoustic wall panels and timber doors with a value of OMR1.62 million, and  a contract with National Stones Marble and Reinforced Fibres  valued at OMR1 million.

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