Over 70 per cent of the construction work at the new Muscat International Airport  has been completed, said H E Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Salim al Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communications.
He was speaking to the media on Sunday after inspecting the progress of work.
“Over 70 per cent of the work is complete. Some of the works like Main Contract 1 (MC1) and Main Contract 2 (MC2) are nearing completion.
“However, Main Contract 3 (MC3) still has a long way to go,” H E Dr Futaisi said
MC1 represents main civil works for the airport, MC2 the new control tower and data centre, and MC3 represents construction work for the passenger terminal building. A test flight from the new airport will take place on February 16, and the one for Salalah Airport will be done at the end of this month.
Construction work of the new Muscat  and Salalah airports has been divided into 11 contracts.
“We have asked the contractors to speed up work, but without compromising on quality. We are now waiting for the contractors to give us a new schedule regarding completion of the project. We have asked them to hire more employees if needed. We may be able to open the runway, which is almost complete this year.”
H E Dr Futaisi said that work on the new control tower is complete. “Installation of equipment is progressing smoothly.”
He said that the date of completion of Muscat airport project is not clear yet. “The ministry has asked the contractors of MC3 to submit a revised schedule. Once that is submitted and finalised, we will announce the opening dates.”
The new airport is expected to handle around 12mn passengers annually and will be expanded further to eventually accommodate 48mn in the future.
Regarding the progress of work on the flyover connecting the airport, he said, “The work is nearing completion.”
According to a statement by Dr Mohammed bin Nasser al Zaabi, chief executive officer of the Public Authority for Civil Aviation, “Eighty-five per cent work at the new Salalah airport has been completed, and it is expected to be operational this year.”