Boosting air connectivity between the Sultanate of Oman and the rest of the world will be one of the priorities of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) this year.
Speaking to the Observer, Eng Nayef bin ali Al Abri, Chairman of CAA, said, “Currently, we have 122 bilateral agreements with countries. We are hoping to finish negotiations with the European Union (28 countries) and ten more pacts within this coming month and during this year.” Al Abri said that bilateral talks are underway with the Indian government to increase the capacity and that he is optimistic about a positive outcome.
"The conclusion of the air bilateral agreement especially the EU will benefit the airlines of the Sultanate of Oman and also those respective countries, apart from offering direct air link from the Sultanate of Oman." Earlier making a presentation, he said one of the major decisions taken in 2022 was that of granting permission to re-operate 737 Max aircraft, which was suspended in 2019 following two fatal crashes.
The revenues of CAA increased by RO 26.4 million or 58 percent in 2022 while there was a movement of 470,809 flights, and the number of aircraft using the Omani airspace was 386, Among others, the cost to rehabilitate the southern runway and taxiways of Muscat International Airport has been over RO21 million with the project stated to be completed by the end of this year.
The CEO said that among the most significant projects the authority is currently on is the implementation of the first phase of Musandam Airport Construction (consultation and studies).
There was an increase of 87 percent in aircraft traffic through Muscat International Airport in 2022 with 76,392 flights ferrying more than 8,602,000 passengers. The freight traffic also grew by 34 per cent.
Suhar Airport witnessed an increase in air traffic by 28 percent and an increase in the number of passengers by 122 percent.
Duqm Airport witnessed an increase in the number of passengers by 37 percent, while aircraft traffic decreased by 21 percent.