‘As a result of a variety of circumstances, including 11 September, terrorism, war and the Sars virus, the approach to the Middle East’s airport projects has changed,’ a senior OAMC official told MEED on 21 October. ‘We have not been able to reach a [settlement] and the government has taken up a clause in the contract enabling either party to terminate the agreement.’

OAMC is scheduled to hand over the two airports to the government by 17 November. However, it remains unclear whether the government will look for a new consortium in the future.

The government has a 20 per cent stake in OAMC, state-owned Oman Aviation Servicesowns 5 per cent, while the remainder is held by a consortium – called Capital Aviation Services– comprising the local Suhail Bahwan Group, British Airports Authorityand Zurich-based ABB Equity Ventures(MEED 14:5:04).