Public to take part in new Muscat airport trial runs

Muscat, Nov 18 – Over 17,000 people (cutting across all age groups) will be able to take part in the trial runs and explore the new Muscat International Airport from December.
Oman Airport Management Company (OAMC) will start the campaign with a roadshow, ‘#JoinTheTrials’ from November 19, which will be held at several commercial and educational institutions, including Oman Avenues Mall to start with, followed by Muscat and Qurm City Centers and Muscat Grand Mall (MGM).
Speaking to Observer, Pablo Lorenz, trials manager, OAMC, said the interested members from Muscat should register themselves on omanairportstrials.om from Sunday (November 19).
While participants will be selected on a first-come-basis, demographics, gender, and children-adult balance will be also taken into account. We will try to present a possible real-time scenario that could crop up in the functioning of an airport.
Selected participants will be asked to assemble at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC), from where they will be transferred to the new airport in a bus.
Starting from next month, the ‘#JoinTheTrials’ campaign could run into 2018. It will be open to more participants as per the demand. The campaign will be promoted extensively through the social media.
According to officials, the Operational Readiness and Airport Transfer (ORAT) trials are entering the last phase after the successful completion of a series of internal, technical, logistical and airport management operations among the internal stakeholders.
This campaign is aimed at reviewing and assessing real-time experience of customers and that operations are in line with the requirements.
The stakeholders supporting the roadshow and ORAT trials include the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC),
Public Authority of Civil Aviation (PACA), Royal Oman Police and Oman Air.
Saud bin Nasser bin Said al Hubaishi, general manager of Readiness, OAMC, said, “Today, the Muscat International Airport development is the largest project ever undertaken in the history of Oman. We are excited to be part of the journey and introduce the public to what we believe will be the gateway to opportunity.”
Trials involving the public will provide a live assessment opportunity for the ORAT team. “Our mission, together with the support of the public, is to bring the best airport experience to life and make it memorable for locals and expats alike. Trials are part of the vision ‘to be among the top 20 airports in the world by 2020’,” said Lorenz.
The trials are also intended to test all systems, facilities, procedures and personnel under real operational conditions, which allow for a comprehensive analysis and mitigation of potential problems well in advance of the opening day.
Once fully operational, the airport will have a capacity to handle 20 million passengers annually. ORAT operations are conducted to ensure a smooth passenger and customer experience from the opening day.
The ORAT system helps integrate all the airport stakeholders — handling agents, airlines, government authorities and agencies, service providers and vendors in the preparation and airport readiness process.

Vinod Nair