Press release on the occasion of the celebration of the 48th National day, Achievements of the PACA
"Today, every Omani can hold up his head with pride at our achievements"
Inspired by the speech His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, the Public Authority for Civil Aviation(PACA) is making a great effort to fulfill the assigned tasks related to the aviation sector in an optimum manner. The aviation sector is an important source of support for the national economy. It is also among the sectors which are depended upon to diversify the sources of income besides sustainable development. Moreover, it is considered a supportive sector for logistics and tourism.
The strategic location of the Sultanate on the world map as a connecting point between the East and the West led the Sultanate pursued to achieve the safety and security of the air navigation and to protect the environment to be a safe climate for the for the air traffic movement. This is demonstrated by the excellency of the Sultanate in the civil aviation sector at all levels. The Sultanate has been awarded by the tribute from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for its rapid response to air traffic contingencies. On this occasion, Dr. Mohammed bin Nasser bin Ali Al-Zaabi, Chief Executive officer of the PACA said: “on behalf of all my collogues in PACA, I would like to extend my sincere congratulation and greetings to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said on the occasion of the 48th National Day, we also congratulate the Omani citizens on this occasion”.
He also added that “On this occasion, our loyalty, gratitude, and devotion to His Majesty; the leader of this victorious march, is renewed to what has been accomplished on this generous land. The achievements which the Sultanate witnessing today in the civil aviation sector are in the place of pride and appreciation that make it be part of the global competition in terms of aviation security and safety, environmental protection and the infrastructure of civil aviation and navigation services. These achievements underscore the lofty vision for the future of this vital and promising sector. As the Government has given this sector the essential support to implement this vision in reality. This is reflected in the Sultanate's status as a world-renowned and recognized by the leading international organizations in the field of civil aviation, air navigation and meteorology. The great cooperation between all the partners of the Authority from the government and private sectors has played a prominent role in achieving the targeted aim of attaining global leadership in the civil aviation industry.
The PACA is one of the most important governmental sectors that contributed significantly to the development of aviation in its various activities in the region. It keens to translate the importance that the wise government of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said has given on behalf of the development of this sector. Providing the latest international technology and developing national cadres. In turn, PACA has accomplished many achievements in the civil aviation and it seeks to achieve other objectives that will enhance the sector alongside the supporting facilities. Further, keeping abreast of local, regional and international developments and activities, in order to promote the development of civil aviation both socially and economically. In addition to strengthening and establishing bridges of friendship with all countries, regional and international organizations in the field of civil aviation. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) praised the role of the Sultanate in dealing with exceptional weather conditions through a letter addressed to the PACA following the distinguished role played by it in dealing with the tropical cyclone (Mekunu) that affected the Sultanate recently. The PACA’ s Media had an important role in enhancing internal and external communication and the delivery of the voice of civil aviation across various regional and international levels, making it a source of local, regional and international tribute in the Middle East as well as by the WMO. It has played a prominent and effective role in delivering accurate, timely and smooth information, publishing reports, notices, alerts, warnings and awareness guidelines in various languages to ensure that the information reaches the largest segment of society in the interest of the safety of citizens and residents in the Sultanate.
The remarkable achievements of the aviation sector, which culminated recently in the official opening of the new Muscat International Airport, that received a high tribute from His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said for its openness to the world. The airport was formed with the best designs and equipment of international and modern standards, which in turn enhance the level of security, safety, environmental protection, unique and diverse elements. Thus, to embodies the ancient civilization and modernity glorious and diverse nature at the same time and passengers can touch it within the total area of 580 thousand square meters with the capacity of up to 20 million passengers annually at the first stage. Accordingly, to serve as an honorable gateway to the world and a pioneer in the modern civil aviation industry.
The PACA has been very successful in the regional Exercise of testing the Early Warning system from Tsunami waves in Indian Ocean confirming its readiness and preparedness to address the Tsunami threat and to assess and improve the effectiveness of the tsunami early warning system and management. In addition to testing communications systems and standard operating procedures and to promote emergency preparedness, in addition to raising awareness among the society about the dangers of tsunami waves. During the exercise, part of the Swadi area in the Wilayat of Barka in the southern of Al-Batinah Governorate was evacuated to raise awareness of the dangers of the tsunami and enhance the preparedness for these conditions at the community level. This was part of the Sultanate's participation in the IOWave18 Regional Exercise for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System organized by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the UNESCO Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
This year also witnessed the completion of the first phase and the start of the second phase of the electronic transformation project. This project aims at organizing, facilitating and speeding up the services for the auditors and customers, which contributes to creating an appropriate working environment for the employees of the PACA.
The Sultanate has achieved great success in participating in various international and regional events and hosting conferences and meetings related to civil aviation and meteorology, which will develop the sector and its affiliated cadres. The most important of which is hosting the fourth meeting of General Directors of civil aviation in the Middle East to achieve mutual cooperation in the field of promotion and the development of civil aviation in the Middle East, which culminated in the adoption of the Muscat Declaration in 2017. The Sultanate received a letter of appreciation and commendation from the International Civil Aviation Organization in the management of emergency plans for aviation.
On the other hand, the Sultanate, represented by the PACA, recently hosted the meeting of the Tropical Cyclone Committee of the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea; the forty-fifth session of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)/ UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Panel on tropical cyclone in Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea for the third time from 23 to 27 September 2018. The Panel aims to mitigate the economic and social impacts of natural hazards related to tropical cyclones and to promote the strategies to improve warning systems in member countries affected by tropical cyclones from both Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. It also presented and discussed the latest studies and researches in tropical cyclone forecasting and mitigation of their potential social and economic impacts.
In addition, the Sultanate participated in the 58th session of the Executive Council as well as the twenty-fourth meeting of the General Assembly of the Arab Civil Aviation Organization. HE Dr. Mohammed bin Nasser Al Zaabi, CEO of the PACA, chaired the work of the 58th Meeting of the Executive Board as being the chairman of the Executive Council with the participation of the nine states of the Council members. Among the most prominent results reached is the election of The Sultanate for the membership of the Executive Council of the Arab Civil Aviation Organization for the coming period 2018-2020. The Sultanate received the highest number of votes equally with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which reached 18 votes for both countries, indicating the importance status and the of the Sultanate and its excellent relations with the countries of the region. His Excellency Dr. Mohammed bin Nasser Al Zaabi was also re-elected as Chairman of the Executive Council of the Arab Civil Aviation Organization for the second term for period 2018-2020. It is worth mentioning that this election was made by the endorsement from all the States member of the Executive Council in recognition of the efforts of His Excellency and his achievements at the level of the Arab Civil Aviation Organization, including his continuous efforts to bring the views of Arab countries closer to serve for the benefit of the Arab Civil Aviation.
In order to implement the strategic plans of the PACA in the development of air navigation, improvement of the Omani airspace, communication networks, and expansion in the airspace fields, satellite take-off, and landing procedures have been activated. In confirmation of the PACA approach to meet the aviation safety and air traffic control requirements around the clock, particularly in emergency situations. For that reasons, the Air Navigation Emergency Center was inaugurated in Muscat.
Salalah Airport witnessed the inauguration and operation of the air navigation radar, which comes within the framework of infrastructure development projects for the aviation sector in general, and the development of navigation services in particular with the cost of more with the cost of more than 5 million OMR to keep pace with the rapid growth of air traffic in the region. Also, it improves the quality of the provided services related to aviation security and safety through the strategy adopted by the PACA in the management of air traffic in the Sultanate. As well as to increase its efficiency. This radar ensures the inspection as it is a key component of safe and effective air traffic control services, especially in the southern sector of the Omani airspace and the approach area of Salalah airport by connecting it with a series of distributed radars throughout the Sultanate. Thus, to cover all other navigation sectors and provide information related to air navigation services and Air safety. The station has been also enhanced by an automatic surveillance device and a surveillance technology based on the identification of the aircraft to its location via satellite to be exposed later on radar screens every second. This new technology is the first of its kind in Oman to monitor Omani airspace. The project includes technical surveillance areas, radars, workshops, and a power supply unit. The tower is 40 meters high and is equipped with radar and navigational devices. The radar station was built according to the latest specifications and technologies with the total area of 1,393m2. The station consists of two radars:
In addition, the Omani airspace was restructured and the sixth air sector was inaugurated to cope with the increase in air traffic. Moreover, designate Oman's airspace to be broad, safe and attractive for international flights in general. This expansion is aimed at keeping pace with the activity of the air traffic movement rapid growth in terms of the number of aircraft passing the Sultanate's airspace on daily basis, which is expected to reach by the end of this year of more than 575,000 aircrafts with the increase rate of 5% compared to that in 2017. While the expected growth in passenger traffic for 2018 is about 10% compared to 2017 and is expected to reach the total number of passengers by the end of 2018 about 15.5 million passengers. These figures reflect the steady growth witnessed by the civil aviation sector and the success of the investments and projects in the Sultanate which will increase the revenues of the PACA, which is expected to increase by about 6% compared to 2017. It worth mentioning that, the increase in revenues of the civil aviation sector during the period between 2014-2017 amounted to 127%, that underlines the importance of this vital sector in supporting the development of the national economy and driving the economic diversification. A seventh sector is being added by the end of this year to accommodate the crowd of air traffic in the Eastern Region, which connects the Omani airspace with the Indian airspace in the North of the Arabian Sea and East Asia. Moreover, PACA is planning to raise the capacity of Omani airspace, where the Eastern Sector has been restructured.
To ensure a smooth and well-run of the sector with regard to regulating the civil aviation sector, attracting investment and achieving the highest standards of airport security, the following have been achieved:
- The actual operation of the first low-cost airline in the Sultanate.
- Completion of the draft national strategy for civil aviation.
- Initial approval of the Oman Aviation Group for the establishment of free zones in Muscat International Airport, Salalah Airport and Sohar Airport in accordance with Oman Civil Aviation Law.
- Completion of the preparation of the draft of Civil Aviation Law, its discussion with the relevant sectors and submission to the competent sector.
- Open the skies for international flights at Sohar Airport.
- completion of the development project of the navigational communication and the expansion of the scope of emergency communications.
As part of aviation efforts to address the noise caused by the aircraft which use the runway of Muscat International Airport, effective operation of noise reduction procedures was initiated on October 11th this year. The aim of these procedures is to ensure that the civil aviation environment in Oman is equipped with the latest technologies and developments to ensure high efficiency, as this application is one of the most important long-term solutions and advanced in the protection of the environment from sound pollution. It is worth mentioning that these procedures are divided into three types, namely: procedures for take-off, special procedures for approaching and landing aircraft to Muscat International Airport, and noise control procedures from the engine test on the airport ground.