One of the last major packages in the multi-billion-dollar expansion and modernization of the Muscat and Salalah international airports was floated by the Tender Board, on behalf of the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The much-awaited MC-12 package will pave the way for the construction of world-class Air Cargo Terminals and Aircraft Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) hangars at the two international gateways.
Along with the centerpiece passenger terminals, state-of-the-art check-in and baggage handling systems, and high-tech air traffic management system, the air cargo terminals and aircraft hangars will underpin the Sultanate's long-term aspirations to emerge as a major aviation hub in the region. At Muscat, the new cargo complex will cover an area of 34,000 sq meters and will be designed for an annual capacity of 260,000 tons of freight in the first phase, with the option to ramp up capacity to 500,000 tons in the second phase. The facility will include 19,000 sq meters of temperature controlled space, and 2,200 sq meters of dedicated space for live animals. Airfreight volumes will be processed semi-automatically, in contrast to the manual process employed in the existing terminal.
At Salalah International Airport, the government is investing in a 100,000 tons per year air-cargo terminal, which will similarly be equipped to process airfreight semi-automatically. While the new air cargo terminals will undoubtedly make a notable contribution to Oman's overall aviation business, it is the aircraft hangar projects that hold out significant potential in propelling the sector forward, experts say. Designed to world-class standards, the Aircraft Maintenance-Repair-Overhaul (MRO) complex in Muscat, for instance, will be equipped to handle a wide range of aircraft fleets presently calling, or due to call in the future, at the international gateway. The facility will be capable of simultaneously accommodating multiple wide-body and narrow-body aircraft, including some of the biggest civilian aircraft in service today.
Oman Daily Observer