Spain’s Oficina de Proyectos has been awarded a contract to prepare the masterplan for a new airport on Oman’s northern Musandam peninsula.

The consultant will select a location for the new airport from among five potential sites identified by the Transport & Communications Ministry, based on airspace requirements, the natural landscape, proximity to population centres and cost.

The ministry plans to build an airport with capacity for 250,000 passengers a year and runways capable of handling aircraft as large as the Airbus A380 or Boeing 747 planes.

A new airport is needed as the ministry is unable to expand the existing one at Khasab because it is surrounded by mountains.

The other bidders were France’s Aeroports de Paris; Atkins and Pell Frischman of the UK; Lebanon’s Associated Consulting Engineers; Germany’s Dorsch Consult and Dornier Consulting; Italy’s Favero & Milan Ingegneria; Omani National Engineering Office; and Switzerland’s Renardet Consulting Engineers (MEED 14:10:09).

The sultanate is investing heavily in aviation, with the ministry also expanding airports at Duqm, Salalah, Sohar and Muscat.