Oman’s Public Authority of Civil Aviation expects the first major construction projects on its Muscat International airport expansion to be completed before the end of next year.

“We are close to finishing the new runway and expect it and the control tower and centre to be completed in in late-2013,” said Salim Al-Aufi, chief executive officer, Public Authority for Civil Aviation, speaking at MEED’s Oman Investment Forum 2012 in Muscat.

The project to expand the Muscat International airport will initially expand the airport’s capacity to 12 million passengers annually. Future planned stages of the expansion programme will increase the capacity to 24 million and then 36 million.

In late-2010, Oman’s Transport and Communications Ministry awarded an OR706m ($1.8bn) contract to a consortium of US’ Bechtel, the local Bahwan Engineering and Turkey’s Enka to build the new passenger terminal at the airport. The new building will cover a total area of 300,000 square metres. The terminal is due to open in 2014.

In June, the Transport and Communications Ministry invited contractors to bid for the contract to build inflight catering facilities at the airport. In August, contractors were invited to submit bids to build cargo and new maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities at Muscat and Salalah airports.