Passengers using Muscat International airport rose in September, in line with the upward trend seen during the first half of this year.

About 616,372 passengers used the airport in September, according to Oman Airports Management Company. This marks an increase of just under 2 per cent on passenger numbers recorded the previous month.

During the first six months of the year, the total number of passengers using Muscat airport touched 3,749,000, a 20 per cent rise compared with the same period in 2011.

In contrast, Salalah airport saw a dip in passenger numbers in September compared with the previous month.  A total of 56,719 passengers used the airport in September, a decrease of 11.3 per cent compared with the previous month.

However, the first six months of 2012 saw strong growth in Salalah airport’s passenger numbers. A total of 294,209 passengers were recorded, marking a 25 per cent rise compared with the same period last year.

To meet increasing passenger traffic at Oman’s airports, a new terminal is being built at Muscat International airport. Construction of the terminal’s major projects is due to be completed by the end of 2013. It will have the capacity to handle 12 million passengers annually.

Passenger volumes across the Middle East’s airports are rising, driving the need for increased investment in airport expansion.