Freight capacity at Muscat International Airport, once the development is completed, will more than double to hit 250,000 tonnes per year as Oman embarks on a series of freight terminal developments at key nationwide airports, according to Vic Allen, acting CEO of the Oman Airports Management Company (OAMC).
Speaking at the TransOman conference, Allen outlined that Muscat International Airport's current annual capacity is 99,000 tonnes, but the first phase of development will deliver improved temperature-controlled storage and introduce an efficient semi-automated cargo handling system.
Three development areas have been earmarked around the new airport site to handle commercial and light industrial operations, with Allen adding that phase two of the freight terminal development will see capacity doubled to 500,000 tonnes per year.
He said, “Muscat International Airport is currently putting through about half the air freight that other airports of our size would put through, so we know there is a lot of potential.
“Phase one construction of the new cargo terminal will give us two and half times the capacity we have today and the ability to easily expand to five times.”
While stressing that Muscat will remain the air freight 'hub' of Oman, Allen added that plans are in place to expand Salalah Airport's yearly capacity to 100,000 tonnes, as well as build terminals at Sohar and Duqm airports with a capacity of 50,000 tonnes each.
He said, “We are looking at a network of freight terminals around the country. Over time they will start to work on their own but initially they will work with the hub.”