Muscat International Airport
Muscat International Airport
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Muscat International Airport (IATA: MCT, ICAO: OOMS), formerly Seeb International Airport, is the main international airport in Oman and is located in Seeb, 32 km from the old city and capital Muscat within the Muscat metropolitan area. The airport serves as the hub for flag carrier Oman Air and Oman's first budget airline Salam Air features flights to several regional destinations as well as some intercontinental services to Asia, Africa and Europe.
It has hosted Royal Air Force BAe Nimrods in the past, including for the 1991 Gulf War. These aircraft cooperated with the Royal Navy of Oman in the 'Magic Roundabout' exercise series. The base was used by a detachment of Vickers VC10 tankers from No. 101 Squadron RAF during the Gulf War training with Royal Air Force SEPECAT Jaguars.
On 1 February 2008, the airport's name was changed from Seeb International Airport to Muscat International Airport.
The entire airport is spread over an area of 5,250 acres (21 km2). It originally featured one passenger terminal building, one runway as well as minor cargo and maintenance facilities and is currently undergoing a major extension and replacement consisting of a second runway, an entirely new passenger terminal and a new control tower. The new facilities underwent testing on December 2017 to positive results. The facilities also includes a VIP terminal, and housing for airport staff as well as Oman Air employees. The Omani Royal Flight and Royal Air Force of Oman are based at the airport and the RAFO also shares its facilities with the airport.
Since 2019 the Aaronia AARTOS C-UAS drone detection system is installed which makes it the first international airport in the world to have an operational drone detection system.
Terminal 1 (New Terminal)
The airport has a new and significantly larger state-of-the-art terminal located at the north of the existing terminal and first runway, opened on March 20, 2018. This new building initially brought the airport's capacity up to 20 million passengers a year upon completion of the first phase. Subsequent enlargements under second and third phases will increase the airport capacity to 24 and 48 million annual passengers respectively. The terminal covers 580,000 sqm and features 118 check-in counters, 10 baggage reclaim belts, 82 immigration counters, 45 gates as well as a new ATC tower, 97 m high. The new terminal is located between the old and new runways and is capable of handling large aircraft such as Airbus A380s and Boeing 747s.
On 31 January 2018, it was announced that the new terminal will be inaugurated on 20 March 2018 with all current operations to be relocated to the new facility. The new terminal opened on the said date at 3:00 p.m. with the first flight, an Oman Air flight from Najaf, arriving at 6:30 p.m.
Terminal 2 (Old Terminal)
Terminal 2 is a single building, two-story passenger T-shaped terminal. It opened in the 1970s as a replacement of the Bait al-Falaj airport and has been expanded several times during the last years to cater for growing passenger numbers.
This terminal featured 58 check-in counters, 23 departure gates, 4 baggage reclaim belts and some service counters and shops. During its years of operation, passengers and crew were transported to and from the aircraft using shuttle buses as the terminal lacks jet bridges.
The new terminal opened in March 2018 and all flights were moved there.On the day the new terminal opened, the last international flight to depart from the old terminal was an Oman Air flight to Zurich Switzerland while another Oman Air flight bound for Salalah became the last domestic flight. The old facility will be redeveloped into a low-cost carrier terminal.
Runways and apron
The airport used to have a single runway, designated as Runway 08R/26L. This runway is capable of handling the Boeing 747-400, and the Boeing 777. A new runway located to the north of the new terminal building, numbered as 08L/26R, was opened on December 14, 2014. The new runway can handle bigger airplanes such as the Boeing 747-8, Airbus A380, and the Antonov An-225. The original runway between the new facilities and the old passenger terminal is closed for refurbishment and expansion as part of the construction of the entirely new main terminal building and apron area.
The old terminal's apron features 32 stands on both sides of the T-shaped passenger terminal building with 30 new ones constructed in two phases in front of the new terminal building of which several are already in use as of September 2016.
Airlines and destinations
The following airlines operate regular scheduled and charter flights to and from Muscat:
- ^1 Biman Bangladesh Airlines' flight from Muscat to Dhaka makes a stop at Sylhet. However, the flight from Dhaka to Muscat is non-stop.
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Oman National Transport Company (Mwasalat) operates 24-hour service special airport buses at fixed intervals. The Route 1A operates between Muscat Airport and Mabela while Route 1B operates between Muscat Airport and Ruwi bus station. Bus Route 8 (Al Mouj-Al Khuwair) also has a stop at Muscat Airport. Metered-airport taxis are available with special counters at the baggage and arrival halls. Car hire and chauffeur services are also available. 
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Media related to Muscat International Airport at Wikimedia Commons