New venture takes charge at Seeb and Salalah


Oman Airport Management Company (OAMC) has formally taken over the management of the Seeb and Salalah airports.

The company is expected to invest RO100 million ($259.86 million) over the next 25 years to upgrade both the airports into world class facilities, local media reports said.

OAMC represents a consortium that includes British Airports Authority, ABB Equity Ventures and Bahwan Trading Company.

"This is the first airport privatisation in the region and one that will be closely watched," said Ahmed Al Rawahy, a civil aviation official.

While this is not the ideal time to invest in aviation ventures, it would only be a matter of time before the industry turns around, Colin Hobbs, OAMC chief executive said.

"Our forward planning is on track. Till then we will be extremely cost effective. We aim to be a customer-focused company. An easy to use, decongested airport with an array of destinations, carriers and retail outlets is what we have planned for the two airports," said Hobbs.

While acknowledging some regional airports have made a head start with their airport plans, the official felt Oman would be able to tackle the competition by developing a niche market.

"Our plans extend much further than merely constructing new buildings. We are looking forward to working with all the major stakeholders in Oman, helping businesses to grow through increased tourism and a wider choice of destinations while working to increase Omanisation levels throughout the airports," he said.