Transport, Communications Ministry Reviews its Plan for 2019

Muscat, Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed al-Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communications said that parts one and two of Adam-Thumrait dual-carriageway project and A’Sharqiyah Expressway will be opened before traffic in 2019, in addition to awarding lanes three and four project for Al Rusayl – Bidbid road and Diba -Lima – Khasab road.

He added during the media meeting, which was organized by the Ministry of Transport and Communications at Oman Convention and Exhibition Center today to review its 2019 plan, “The Ministry will expand this year the port of A’Suwaiq by adding a 160 meter berth for goods, and additional handling equipment .The Ministry will also develop and operate the ports of Khasab and Shinas by Marafi Company, in addition to the operation of the rock quay at Sohar Port and the land port (Khazaen), launching the hotline for port communications and attract foreign investments of not less than half billion Omani riyals in the free zones in Sahar and Salalah”.

In the field of logistics, Dr. al-Futaisi explained that the Ministry is seeking to increase the volume of containers by 15 percent and general cargo by 20 percent by the end of this year and the gradual operation of (5) lines of cargo for Oman Shipping Company for linking Omani ports.

The Minister of Transport and Communications pointed out that the aviation, logistics and communications sectors will receive a share of services. He added, “In the logistics sector, the inspection rate will be reduced to 10 percent, in addition to the implementation of risk systems. The pre-clearance will be increased from 14 percent to 20 percent, in addition to the operation of one-stop inspection station at the Port of Salalah, providing 2500 jobs for Omanis in the logistics sector, hosting (5) new pilot projects within the sailing incubator and start activating pre-clearance air cargo from airports by at least 15 percent, as well as supporting (5) national companies or more specializing in the logistics sector of digital transformation in their institutions”.

He added that the rehabilitation of the southern runway at Muscat International Airport will begin, the opening of the supply building, the aircraft maintenance building, the establishment of an integrated distribution center for corrosive materials at the airport and the implementation of the masterplan to reuse the old Muscat airport building. He added, “The Omanisation rate in the aviation sector in the Sultanate reached 70% with 10,313 employees of the total workers in the sector”.

He further said that the air cargo village will be launched at Muscat International Airport through an international partnership, in addition to launching the second phase of the study for Musandam Airport. He affirmed that the license and establishment of the third mobile operator will continue and commercial operation will commence in the second quarter of 2020, as well as connecting about 40,000 residential and commercial units by optical fiber lines in the Governorate of Muscat and 45,000 units outside it.

The Minister of Transport and Communications said that the meter system will be implemented in the taxis in the Governorate of Muscat, in addition to operating the digital registration platform for licensing and registration of land transport (trucks and public transport) in the Sultanate.

Abdul Rahman bin Salim al-Hatmi, CEO of Oman Global Logistics Group “ASYAD” said that Omanisation rate in the group during the period 2016-2018 increased from 74 percent to 83 percent of the total Omani employees of the group with 4118 employees, of whom 1269 employees were hired during the same period, in addition to training 550 Omani university students.

Al-Hatmi pointed to the increase in the number of vessels and passengers through the Port of Sultan Qaboos, which recorded 147 cruise ships and 490,000 passengers. He added that the port is scheduled to receive another batch of passengers in April 2019. He explained that the Port of A’Suwaiq witnessed a rise in the volume of general cargo by handling 9000 tons in the first quarter to operate the commercial part of the port to 9000 tons of cargo weekly where the expansion of types of goods to include, besides livestock, the market service by handling all general cargo.

Mustafa bin Mohammed al-Hinai, CEO of Oman Aviation Group, said: “The Group and its subsidiaries have been able to harness the potentials to improve expenses and record more than RO 100 million of economic and operational savings through several initiatives. He added that Oman Aviation Services are represented by 6 percent turnover, 7 percent free sales, 19 percent catering revenue and 15 percent freight return.

Al-Hinai added that the Group’s plan for 2019 includes the improvement of long-term development initiatives for the sector to enable tourism services through the development of a comprehensive electronic system and the logistics village, the creation of surrounding areas around Muscat International Airport and other airports to enable the economic sectors and to focus on developing the technology system, fisheries, agriculture, e-commerce and logistics distribution services.

The meeting was attended by Undersecretaries of the Ministry of Transport and Communications and CEOs of the sector’s companies.

Source: Oman News Agency