It was in February when the Airport Council International (ACI) announced the results of the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) passenger survey of the top airports in the world. Oman’s Muscat International Airport wasn’t one of the winners but watch this space as we’re aiming to be there in the future.
Why do we say this? Well here in Muscat there has been an increase in passenger numbers, together with Oman Air’s fleet and route expansion. Tourism is growing and developing too and we’re also seeing increases in capacity and frequency of other existing carriers.
So what are Muscat International Airport’s expansion projects which are scheduled to be operational in late 2014? From the passenger’s viewpoint the Oman Airports Management Company has already increased the size of the departures terminal building to 17,000 sqm of passenger circulation and retail space across two levels. Additional check-in counters have already been installed and once you’re through Passport control there is plenty of seating combined with an excellent view of the apron for those waiting for their planes to touch down. On the landside the departures hall, hold baggage screening facility and queuing area have also been expanded by some 700 sqm of floor space, thus giving much more passenger circulation space here too.
As for passenger vehicle parking, well it used to be a nightmare but it’s improving by the month – there are now 1,542 spaces. Parking fees vary, as in other international airports but, for example, you can pay just 500 baizas/$1.30 for 30 minutes whilst you wait for your friends in Arrivals.
What does the year-long Airport Service Quality (ASQ) passenger survey aim to cover? Well it measures the improvement made by airports every year and also gives a platform for airports worldwide to compete with their peers. The results help to demonstrate that airports have continued to invest and focus on customer service despite falling traffic numbers.
So which were the top five in this passenger survey? We wouldn’t mind betting that you’ll be surprised? Well we’ll give you a clue – they all belong to the Asia-Pacific Region. OK, you’ve thought about this but did you guess correctly? The five are Seoul Incheon International Airport, Singapore’s Changi Airport, Hong Kong International Airport, Beijing’s Capital International Airport and India’s Hyderabad Rajiv Gandhi’s International Airport.
Advice to the winners, don’t rest on your laurels – Muscat will be pursuing a place in the top 5 very soon!