MUSCAT, sept 11 – Feasibility studies aimed at establishing an ambitious Air Cargo Village at Muscat International Airport have commenced, according to the Implementation Support & Follow-Up Unit of Tanfeedh (The National Programme for Enhancing Economic Diversification).
The proposed Air Cargo Village — one of over 120 initiatives envisioned for implementation by Tanfeedh over the next several years — will position Oman as a regional hub for air cargo and air logistics services. Together with as many as 16 logistics-related investments and initiatives mooted by Tanfeedh, it will also help meet the government’s long-term aspirations to create a logistics-centric economy in the Sultanate.
‘Work is under way to prepare feasibility studies and a business model for the Cargo Village Project in Muscat International Airport,” Tanfeedh stated in a tweet on Monday.
The Cargo Village project is envisioned as a hub for a wide array of investments and activities related to air freight storage and warehousing, freight handling and forwarding, customs and inspections services, shipping and repackaging, value enhancement, and distribution.
In effect, the Air Cargo Village will be the first port of call for businesses, service providers and other stakeholders engaged in what is billed as a hugely promising economic sector. Also expected to play a prominent role in the project are the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Oman Airports Management Company, national carrier Oman Air, ASYAD Group, and other stakeholders.
At the heart of the proposed complex is an air cargo terminal for the import, export and re-export of freight, as well as postal shipping and transit centres. Furthermore, as a hub for air cargo logistics, the facility is expected to attract investment in cold rooms, general warehouses (bonded customs warehouses), public areas for cargo handling operations, and multi-functional zones, according to plans drawn up by Tanfeedh.
Importantly, multimodal connectivity will be key feature of the proposed Air Cargo Village project. “In order to promote multimodal transportation in cargo handling, the Village project requires the creation of multiple modes of transportation that operate round-the-clock to support shipping and packaging. Therefore, developing the infrastructure will require a linkage with communication and transport equipment, which will help provide telecommunications services, energy, and assistance tools. It will also help ease congestion by using the Inter-Modal Connections System,” Tanfeedh explained in an overview on the initiative.
Tanfeedh has proposed a June 2019 target to bring the initial phases of the Air Cargo Village project into operation. The initiative is expected to bolster revenue growth from air cargo and logistics activities at Muscat International Airport by around RO 30 million from 2020.