Twice-weekly operational readiness trials underway at new Muscat Airport

Munich Airport International is delivering Operational Readiness and Airport Transfer (ORAT) services to support the opening of the new Muscat Airport. Ivonne Kuger, Vice President Operations, Munich Airport International, is participating in the Airport Operations Conference at ACI Airport Exchange 2017, hosted by Oman Airports Management Company. Ahead of the event, she shared some insights with Ross Falconer.

Operational Readiness and Airport Transfer (ORAT) is one key element of successful airport development. A good project starts with planning and designing facilities that are fit for purpose. During definition, construction and commissioning, involvement of the end-user is key to ensure smooth operations later. After the opening, the focus must be on continuous improvement of airport performance and enhancement of service levels.

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Ivonne Kuger, Vice President Operations, Munich Airport International: “Our consulting team and the Muscat Airport stakeholder community are now in the process of proving the operational procedures in twice-weekly trial operations with volunteer passengers, thousands of bags, real aircraft and multiple scenarios, such as emergency exercises.”

“Our service portfolio covers all aspects of airport and terminal planning, the commissioning of new facilities, operational planning and process engineering, profit and revenue optimisation, airport privatisation advice, tailor-made training services and comprehensive airport management services,” says Ivonne Kuger, Vice President Operations, Munich Airport International.

Munich Airport’s consulting team and Oman Airports Management Company (OAMC) have collaborated in close partnership for the past seven years on projects at both Salalah and Muscat airports. The project at Salalah Airport involved process development for airport operations, staff training for all airport stakeholders, the set-up and coordination of trial operations over a period of four months, and the successful operational transition overnight in July 2015.

“During the ORAT work at Salalah Airport, we learned that we need to calculate sufficient time for the system integration,” Kuger explains. “The lack of integration required several manual work-arounds and put pressure on the operations team. Due to changing or new requirements, especially regarding safety and security aspects, we had to adjust processes and technologies continuously during the project period. This requires a high level of flexibility of all parties involved.”

While the construction and development of Muscat’s new airport continued, Munich Airport’s consulting team took thorough care that all processes in the new airport facilities were developed, trained and tested in the existing airport to constantly improve operations.

A significant amount of training has already taken place at Muscat and familiarisation of staff is well underway. “Our consulting team and the Muscat Airport stakeholder community are now in the process of proving the operational procedures in twice-weekly trial operations with volunteer passengers, thousands of bags, real aircraft and multiple scenarios, such as emergency exercises,” says Kuger.

Munich Airport International is delivering Operational Readiness and Airport Transfer services to support the opening of the new Muscat Airport.

Meanwhile, staff training courses, and operational and leadership training are a fundamental part of Munich Airport International’s service portfolio for the Omani airports. “We even welcomed Sheikh Aimen Ahmed Al Hosni, CEO OAMC, at Munich Airport for a comprehensive airport leadership development programme,” Kuger comments. “We have completed a total of 450 training days in airport operations and related areas.”

About 70% of the training courses were carried out in Munich at the airport’s own Airport Academy, and on the job in its Airport Operations Centre, for example.

“At Muscat Airport, we have reached the final stage and we can say the countdown for the opening has started. After the opening our consulting team will remain onsite to provide post-opening support until the operations run smoothly,” Kuger concludes.

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