Position Project manager, Muscat International airport; vice-president, Bechtel
Biography Joe Collins is project manager at Muscat International airport. He has been principal vice-president at the US’ Bechtel since October 2008. A consortium comprising Bechtel, Turkey’s Enka and Oman’s Bahwan Engineering Company won the construction contract for Muscat International in October 2010. Collins joined Bechtel as a graduate in 1986, starting as a civil structural engineer. He has worked on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in the US, London Underground railway and Autostrada Transylvania highway in Romania. Before taking up his current role, Collins was based in London and was responsible for overseeing the central services of Bechtel’s civil global business unit. Collins has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Virginia Tech University and a master’s in engineering management from George Washington University, both from the US.
Contact Tel: (+968) 2 449 0736
Position Chief executive officer (CEO), Oman Air
Biography Peter Hill was appointed CEO of the sultanate’s flag carrier Oman Air in July 2008. Prior to this, Hill was CEO of Sri Lankan Airlines, where he worked for eight years. Hill joined British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC), now British Airways, in 1961 as a commercial trainee. In 1974, he joined Gulf Aviation in Bahrain as reservation superintendent and was part of the team that created what is now Gulf Air. In 1978, Hill joined Dubai-based air travel service provider Dnata and was later part of a small team that put forward the first business plan for Emirates airline. He was commercial manager of Emirates until 1996. In 1998, Hill moved to Sri Lankan Airlines in which Emirates held a 40 per cent stake as part of a 12-year management deal. Oman Air was established in 1993, following a merger of Gulf Air’s light aircraft division and Oman International Services.
Contact Tel: (+968) 2 453 1111
Position Managing director, Bahwan Engineering Group
Biography Suresh Virmani is managing director of Bahwan Engineering Group, based in Ruwi, Oman. Virmani founded the firm in 1977 along with 13 other investors. It started out as a small-scale air-conditioning contractor. Bahwan Engineering Company is the flagship brand within the group and today is one of the largest engineering construction companies in Oman. The firm is part of the consortium working on the development of Muscat International airport. In 2009, Bahwan Engineering also won an estimated $217m contract for mechanical, electrical and plumbing works at Muscat International airport. Before establishing Bahwan, Virmani worked as an electrical engineer for 14 years with Voltas, which is part of the Tata Group in India. During his time with Voltas, Virmani worked on an air-conditioning project for Muscat Palace in Oman.
Contact Tel: (+968) 2 459 7510
Position CEO, Oman Airports Management Company
Biography George Bellew has been CEO of state-owned Oman Airports Management Company since September 2005. Oman Airports Management Company is responsible for the operations of Muscat International airport and Salalah airport. Bellew is currently overseeing a major expansion of both airports. Before moving to Oman, Bellew was CEO of Christchurch International airport in New Zealand. Prior to his career in the aviation sector, Bellew worked in the timber industry and the petroleum sector. He has held a number of non-executive directorships with companies in diverse sectors such as hospital services, electricity distribution and tourism. Bellew has a degree in science and commerce. Last year, more than 5.7 million passengers used Muscat International, while Salalah airport handled 455,000 passengers.
Contact Tel: (+968) 2 451 8030
Position Vice-chairman and managing director, Galfar Engineering & Contracting
Biography Mohamed Ali is vice-chairman and managing director of Galfar Engineering & Contracting, one of the largest contractors in Oman. Ali graduated in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Kerala, India. He began his career as a civil engineer for the Border Road Organisation of India, where he worked for three years. In 1972, Ali was invited by Galfar founding chairman Sheikh Salim al-Fannah al-Araimi to help set up a construction firm in Oman. Initially, Galfar employed just five people, and the first project the firm undertook was the house of the governor of Sur, a deal worth OR13,000 ($33,000). Today, Galfar Engineering is involved in the expansion and development of Salalah International airport. Working together with India’s Larsen & Toubro, Galfar will build the new passenger terminal at the airport.
Contact Tel: (+968) 2 452 5000
Position Project director, Aeroports de Paris Ingenierie (ADPI)
Biography Thierry Campin has a key role in overseeing the development of Oman’s aviation sector. He is working on the expansion schemes at Muscat International and Salalah International airports and four smaller airport projects at Duqm, Ras al-Hadd, Sohar and Adam. ADPI is the subsidiary of France’s Aeroports de Paris and is the project management consultant for the development of Muscat International. ADPI is providing project management consulting services and supervision of the engineering phase, overview of tender allocations, supervision of building phases and supervision of preparation for startup. Muscat is prioritising the development of its transport sector to accommodate a predicted increase in tourists and to provide job opportunities. It is an essential part of Oman’s diversification plans and Muscat is spending $2.5bn on airport development.
Contact Tel: (+968) 2 451 8251