'World first' air traffic control system in Oman
by Courtney Trenwith
A world first air traffic monitoring system has been installed in Oman to oversee aircraft in the skies above Muscat and Salalah.
The new system, operated from the transitional air traffic control centre (ATC), which serves international airports in both cities, has been installed as part of a expansion and modernisation of the airports.
It includes 56-inch monitors with multiple views on a single screen and the latest systems and software, officials told the Oman Tribune.
It was developed by Spanish firm Indra, with contribution from Omani air traffic controllers.
Minister of Transport and Communications Dr Ahmed Mohammed Salem Al Futaisi said the new transitional air traffic control centre was a “great accomplishment” for the country and the civil aviation sector.
"This is a new addition which will definitely support safety in the aviation sector and open new opportunities for the country to optimise the use of its airspace," Ahmed Al Futaisi said.
"We really feel proud that this system is used for the first time in the world in Oman and it is being formally inaugurated today.
“It is a great improvement of the civil aviation system of the country.”
Oman’s aviation sector is far behind those of its neighbours.
A combined 7 million passengers were recorded at both international airports in 2011, the latest figures available according to aviation analysts CAPA. However, the figure was a record and continues to climb annually.
National carrier Oman Air – the country’s only airline – carries less than 400,000 passengers annually.
In 2012 Oman announced a major restructure of its civil aviation industry, including modernising and expanding its airports.