First flight at new Muscat airport to land at 6pm on March 20: PACA

Muscat - 

The first flight at the new Muscat airport is expected to arrive at 6pm on March 20 while the last flight at the existing airport will take off at 3pm on the same day.

This was announced by Dr Mohammed Nasser al Zaabi, chief executive officer of the Public Authority for Civil Aviation (PACA) at a press briefing on Wednesday. The briefing was attended by all parties related to the Airport Transfer Project.

He said that the Oman Airports Management Company, Oman Aviation Handling Company and Oman Air are closely working to ensure smooth transfer to the new airport.

Dr Zaabi

At the briefing, a short video on entry and exit routes of the new Muscat airport was shown too. “Preparations for the opening are 89 per cent complete and most of the work will be over by March 14.”

He said that 45 trials have been conducted till date related to the airport operations. “Forty out of 45 trials involved 21,000 participants and volunteers.

“The target is to have 26,000 participants at the end of all tests,” said Dr Zaabi.

Dr Zaabi said that around 10,000 people will be employed at the new airport terminal complex comprising government agencies, contracting companies and cleaning and maintenance companies.

He said that the aviation sector will provide 390 jobs while hoping that the logistic sector will offer 8,000 job opportunities.

With regard to the number of aircraft that can be handled at the new airport, Dr Zaabi said that it can accommodate 40 flights per hour. “There are 118 counters to clear travel procedures, including 22 e-gates. There will be ten carousels for handling bags, including eight for international flights.”

In a statement on its official Twitter account, the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) said, “More than 4,000 people participated in flight trials. The number of simulated flights reached 786 and more than 82,000 bags were used, in addition to more than 26 accompanying exercises. These exercises will continue until the airport is operational.”

MoTC has said that it will be coming out with advertisements on various media channels including local newspapers to announce about the shift to the new airport. “As part of the media plan, text messages will be sent to citizens and residents in different languages informing them about the move.

“In addition, there will advertisements on social media platforms and foreign newspapers. Billboards at the current airport and on the streets in Muscat governorate will carry the message about the shift from March 1 onwards.”

(With inputs from ONA)

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