Oman to fund regional airport development in tourism drive

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Oman’s Government has committed funding in its 2008 budget to develop six regional airports in the sultanate as well as its two main facilities at Muscat and Salalah.

Budget appropriations will include RO17 million ($25 million) for consultancy studies, design and construction supervision for six regional airports located at Sohar, Al Duqum, Ras Al Had, Adam, Haima and Shaleem.

Oman is developing its air transport infrastructure as part of its efforts to encourage tourism, a strategy which has also led the Government to concentrate on expanding flag-carrier Oman Air.

Economics minister Ahmed bin Abdulnabi Macki outlined the state of affairs for the sultanate’s finances at a start-of-year briefing this week.

He said that RO111 million would be made available for studies and consultancy work to improve Muscat, the capital airport, as well as the airport at Salalah on the southern Omani coast.

Oman’s ministry of transport is participating in a committee to review designs and Macki expects tenders for Muscat runway work will be issued during the first half of this year. Similar tenders for terminal development, he says, will be put out by the end of the year.