Oman’s Transport and Communications Ministry received bids for building and civil works at Sohar International airport on 9 January.

Bids for the work, package three of the project to increase airport capacity to 50,000 passengers a year, were originally due by 21 March 2011.

The ministry awarded the local/Austrian Strabag consortium the second infrastructure package in June 2010. That packaged involves the construction of a 4,000-metre-long runway, a taxiway, terminal building and cargo aprons, in addition to the installation of navigation aids, fuel and firefighting systems (MEED 22:6:10).

Strabag also won the first package of the airport project in May 2009. The OR37.5m ($10m) contract includes site preparation works and the construction of access roads. Egypt’s Hamza Associates is the design consultant for the project.

Oman is developing its aviation infrastructure in the hope of boosting tourism’s contribution to GDP to more than 3 per cent.

New airport projects are planned at Ras al-Hadd, Duqm, Sohar and Adam, although the most significant schemes are at Muscat and Salalah. In October 2010, a consortium of the US’ Bechtel, the local Bahwan Engineering and Turkey’s Enka won the contract to build the new passenger terminal at Muscat. A month later, a joint venture of local Galfar Engineering & Contracting and India’s Larsen & Toubro won the deal to build a new passenger terminal at Salalah.