According to the Oman Airports Management Company (OAMC), the date coincides with December 23, 1973 when the existing Muscat airport was inaugurated under the patronage of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said.
H E Dr Futaisi said that feedback from the trial will help the government to decide on the launch date of operations at the new airport.
“The new Muscat airport will start its operations soon. The construction is almost over,” H E Dr Futaisi said while talking to media at the 11th edition of the 2017 Airports Council International’s Airport Exchange Forum at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC).
He said that the first trial flight will have passengers. “We would like to ensure that everything is in place before actual operations begin.”
H E Dr Futaisi said that the travel sector is witnessing global boom. “Oman is seeing an increase in passenger traffic too. The freight sector is witnessing double-digit growth. We have a great opportunity to market the new airport and attract more airlines and travellers.”
Dignitaries present at the opening of the forum include Sheikh Aimen bin Ahmed bin Sultan al Hosni, chief executive officer, OAMC and H E Yahya bin Said bin Abdullah al Jabri, chairman of the Special Economic Zone Authority in Duqm.
Advanced public trials begin
Advanced public trials began at the new Muscat airport on Wednesday. These trials aim to simulate a ‘real airport experience’ through a number of airport-procedure scenarios, such as checking in, baggage handling, finding your gate or imitating an emergency evacuation.
In cooperation with OAMC, the new airport aims to test facilities and services to ensure the full readiness of all operations. “These trials will serve much more than just testing operations. We will use the valuable feedback from all 17,000 passengers to ensure we achieve our goal to be among the top 20 airports in the world by 2020,” Saud bin Nasser bin Said al Hubaishi, GM of Readiness, OAMC, said.
The advanced trials are being conducted on a bi-weekly basis with diverse scenarios and a growing number of volunteer passengers every week. It starts with groups of 100 people growing to 3,000 for any given trial.
The national campaign to recruit volunteers, titled #Jointhetrials has so far seen over 13,000 people joining it. To sign up, one can register with the promotional teams at Qurum City Centre, Al Mouj Muscat and Oasis Mall or at www.omanairportstrials.om