No date fixed yet for new Muscat airport opening

The Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) has said “no date has been determined” as yet for the opening of the new Muscat International Airport.
With the probable dates floating around on the social media, the ministry issued a statement saying “all dates circulated on social media are speculative in nature”. The ministry said it was “closely following reports circulating on social media about the possible dates of opening of the new Muscat International Airport, which are highly speculative”.
“Great efforts have been exerted by all parties in preparation for the operation of the new airport, including obtaining of permits and the conduct of tests to judge preparedness of the terminal buildings, equipment and other operations,” it said.
The ministry said the airport “will not be operated unless all systems are fully operational”.
Oman Airport Management Company (OAMC) in August reported the basic Operational Readiness and Airport Transfer (ORAT) trials were conducted at the new airport for three consecutive weeks.

OAMC did not specify the nature of the trials, but according to experts, ORAT was conducted to ensure the operational readiness of a new airport project before it is thrown open for regular operations. Last Thursday, Andreas Spaeth, an aviation journalist based in Germany, had said the new airport will be opened on November 23 and will be ready to receive passengers from March 2018.
Rated among the most prestigious projects in Oman, there have been widespread speculations on its opening date after the ministry reported 97 per cent work on construction of new passenger terminal has been completed. The new airport will have the capacity to handle 20 million passengers a year in the initial stages, which will gradually be increased to 48 million.
“I think some speculations are natural as people are anxious now than before because they feel it is happening soon. But I will urge everyone to be patient and wait for the government to open it at the appropriate time,” said a senior executive in the airline industry.

Vinod Nair