It’s been a long time coming and for some, it couldn’t come soon enough.
But the end is in sight with the news that the new Muscat International Airport is now taxiing down the runway with almost three quarters of the building work complete.
A series of delays have hit the landmark project – said to be costing a total of $1.8 billion (RO693 million) – which began in early 2011 but it’s now officially nearing completion. All the runways have been finished. It’s clear too that the distinctive terminal building, which can be seen rising from the desert sand, is also well on the way.
Work to finish the 97-metre high air traffic control tower will begin soon. A test flight on the main runway, which is big enough to receive the world’s largest aircraft, the Airbus A380, is set for next Sunday (Feb 16).
Don’t get too excited yet, though. We still don’t have an actual opening date.
“The timetable for completing the passenger terminal is not clear,” said Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communications, as he toured the site this week.
It should be worth waiting for.
When opened, the sprawling airport will be capable of handling 12 million passengers a year with 86 check-in counters, 8,000 car parking spaces and 56 immigration counters.