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    Duqm airport terminal to be ready by year-end

    A modern terminal building at the Duqm airport, which started operations almost three years ago, will be ready to receive passengers by the end of this year or January next year, said a top-level official at the Special Economic Zone Authority of Duqm (Sezad).

    Apart from a new terminal building to handle 500,000 passengers per year, the airport will have a cargo building, fire fighting building and several other support facilities. Larsen & Toubro is building the terminal and other related facilities at the airport.

    The greenfield airport, which started early operations with five weekly flights between Muscat and Duqm, will have facilities, such as two air bridges, four remote aircraft stands, a four-kilometre long runway and two link taxi ways. Oman Air has been operating five weekly flights - Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

    In fact, the airfield infrastructure of the airport was completed at the Duqm international airport some years ago and the airport presently uses a temporary terminal.

    According to Lee Chee Khian, chief executive officer of Sezad, the passenger traffic between Muscat and Duqm is very good. The majority of passengers travelling on the route are employees working in Duqm or those who travel for project-related work.

    Khian said demand for air cargo from Duqm would be driven by the development of an integrated fish processing zone as fishing firms will use the air cargo for exporting their catch to different parts of the world.

    Since major work on the $7 billion-Duqm refinery and several other projects is about to start, passenger demand between Muscat and Duqm will increase tremendously. The refinery is expected to award its main processing plant contract soon. Apart from the refinery, construction work on several mega projects, including a liquid berth, a major crude storage facility at Ras Al Markaz and an integrated fish processing zone, are expected to start soon.

    Galfar Engineering and Contracting firm is building the fishing harbour, which will help attract 60 fish processing firms.

    The Duqm authority chief also noted that there is also a proposal for a pharmaceutical company. “At a later stage, we will have a high-end electronic industry. They can make use of the air cargo facility,” added Khian.

    Duqm authority is also in discussions with Indian companies to attract projects for manufacturing medical devices and these ventures can also make use of the air cargo facility for exports.

    The Duqm airport will serve as a new gateway into a region with significant economic, industrial and commercial potential.

    The development of regional airports, which also include Sohar and Ras Al Hadd, are part of a major government initiative to build airport infrastructure to meet the increasing travel demand of tourists, businessmen and local community.

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