Oman Ministry of Transport
Oman invested some $2 billion, mostly in airport construction, last year.

Oman, aggressively looking to build up its infrastructure and its strategic position in the United Arab Emirates, signed nine agreements worth a total of 2.16 billion in 2011 for new airports and roads. Firms from around the world have snapped up the work.

The iargest share ($1.7 billion) allotted to the construction of a 334,995-sq-m new terminal at the Muscat International Airport was awarded to a consortium of U.S-based Bechtel, Bahwan Engineering Co., and Turkey’s Enka.

The airport terminal, scheduled for completion in 2014, will handle 12 million passengers annually. Piling and earthworks for the project has started.

“It took us a while to prepare the soil by removing part of the soil and replacing it with external soil…The entire airport is being built in such a way that it can resist any flooding,” Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Futaisi, minister of transport and communications, said during a site visit last fall.

Denmark-based Cowi, in a joint venture with Larsen Architects and Copenhagen Airports, are the principal consultants. ADPI, the subsidiary of Aeroports de Paris, are the project management consultants. The project has been divided into numerous main contracts and standard national contracts.

The UK’s Croydon-based TPS, the principal consultant on the project, will provide architectural design for 11 new buildings, including the city’s tallest building—the 100-m-high air traffic control tower and a training center. TPS brought in Mott Macdonald and Canadian Rowan Williams Davies and Irwin Inc. (RWDI) to analyze structural characteristics of the tower.

“The key challenges for us are to develop designs in parallel, whilst meeting the different project objectives to a tight timescale. We also have to manage design interfaces for the timely flow of information with designers of other contracts for the airport development,” says Hanif Macci, regional director of TP.

South Korea’s Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co. is building the 4-km-long runway, two taxiways, parking apron and two boarding bridges for the airport in Duqm, located in the Wusta region, halfway between Muscat and Salalah. It is designed with initial capacity to handle 500,000 passengers a year. That work is scheduled to be completed this year.

Bids will be out soon for the passenger terminal, air traffic management facility and a cargo complex to handle 50,000 tons of airfreight per year. The airport will support Duqm's planned development as a major industrial, petrochemical and commercial hub. A 20,300 ha. industrial area, a major port and dry dock, and a ship repair yard project are presently under construction.

The modernization and expansion of the Salalah Airport, awarded to a consortium of India’s Larsen & Toubro and Oman’s Galfar Engineering & Contracting, is to be completed by 2014. It includes a new passenger terminal covering an area of 71,000 sq m, a 4-km-long runway capable of handling Airbus A380s, an air traffic control tower and a cargo terminal to handle 100,000 tons of air freight per year.

Adam Airport, the smallest of the airport projects and the first in the interior region, is expected to be operational by 2014. Its principal consultants are Gulf Engineering in joint venture with Pryde Schropp Mc Comb Inc., with roads and runways by Strabag Oman. The terminal bid remains to be awarded.

Anticipating increasing cargo traffic between Sohar and Muscat or Dubai, officials plan a 50,000-ton-per-year air cargo terminal in close proximity to the Port of Sohar Special Economic Zone. The  ADPI is serving as project manager.
Meanwhile, work on Ras al Hadd Airport is in its third stage for the construction of the 8,000 sq.m. terminal. A 10-km road and civil works for the 4-km airstrip has been completed.