In a formal ceremony, held under the auspices of the Minister of Transport and Communications H E Ahmed al Futaisi, representatives from the Special Economic Zone Authority in Duqm (SEZAD), Ministry of Transport and Communication (MoTC), Royal Oman Police, Public Authority for Civil Aviation and Meteorology, Oman Air, and Oman Airports Management Company were present at the airport to mark the occasion.
The arrival of the first flight will speed up infrastructure and development projects already underway in Duqm and the surrounding areas, according to H E Yahya bin Said al Jabri, chairman of the Special Economic Zone Authority in Duqm (SEZAD).
H E Jabri added that the first flight had been made possible thanks to the efforts of all those involved in the Ja'aloni airport, which started receiving flights from Muscat in November 2012. "The route facilitated the movement of investors and citizens between SEZAD and Muscat. It also contributed to enhancing tourism activity in Al Wusta governorate.”
As part of the agreement between SEZAD and Oman Air, four flights will operate between Muscat and Duqm, every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. "We are very happy to launch this route between Muscat Airport and Duqm Airport. The route will boost the economic development in SEZAD,” Salem al Kindi, Acting CEO of Oman Air, said in a statement.
“Besides providing the long-awaited air transport route, the new service shows Oman Air's commitment to serve society and its endeavours to enhance economic development in different parts of the sultanate. The early operation of Duqm Airport will definitely enhance the constantly growing domestic destinations covered by Oman Air.”
The work at Duqm Airport was divided into three phases, the first and second including the runway and taxiway that can accommodate Airbus A380s, an extensive road network, rainwater discharge channels, and electricity networks.
The third phase, awarded in June 2013, will include the passenger terminal which will have a capacity of 500,000 passengers per annum.
Work is also underway at the air cargo building, with a capacity of 25,000 tonnes of cargo items each year that can be expanded in the future to meet the expected growth in business and economy activity. The third phase is expected to be completed in 2016.
MoTC is currently constructing three domestic airports at Sohar, Ras al Hadd and Duqm.