Jet blast deflectors in the desert – Implementing jet blast protection at Muscat International Airport
Heat, wind, sand, sometimes salt water and the jet blast itself: the wear and tear on a jet blast deflector in the desert of the Middle East is immense. But these are only some of the reasons why Muscat International Airport initially ordered jet blast deflectors from Blast-Ex and, when it modernized and expanded its facilities, turned to Blast-Ex again.
The new runway of the airport has six entry and exit points from and to the taxi way. At these points the jets are moving slow, but still creating – depending on the type of aircraft and its engines – substantially harmful blasts. That is especially a problem, when an aircraft starts to turn at one of the entry points, because then the rear of the aircraft is facing towards service roads, buildings or equipment. For protection in these areas Muscat International Airport asked us for an offer to provide three sections of jet blast deflectors with an overall length of 162.5 meters and a height of 4.30 meters.
After a phase of planning and negotiating we were delighted to win this tender against major competitors. The supply agreement was signed in the beginning of 2013. We then ordered the required materials – sourcing in the same region where we produce, resulting in an effective production with a low profile ecological footprint.
The jet blast deflectors for Muscat Airport were treated with hot-dip galvanization for corrosion protection. It also shields the material against the impact of the jet blast and – very important in case of the project in Oman – heat, wind, sand and salt water. The colored powder-coating in this project was classical red and white. The compact Blast-Ex package for Oman was shipped through Hamburg and Dubai to a port near Muscat.
The installation of the jet blast deflectors in Muscat was supervised by us and carried out with local staff, provided by the airport and local construction companies. Our deflectors were mounted onto concrete foundations. These had been locally pre-build, according to our exact guidelines, which were handed over upon the signature of contract. Just one of the reasons why the complete set up was executed in less than three weeks in September and October 2013.
Our Blast-Ex jet blast deflectors showed their quality and reliability in the challenging desert environment and Muscat International Airport ordered a second batch of another 271.5 meters length. These fences are being implemented right now (May 2015).
This jet blast deflector project was an important part of the expansion of Muscat International Airport. The airport is being upgraded with new terminals, towers and runways – an overall investment of around four billion US dollars. Big carriers as Emirates, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa and Etihad are flying to Oman, and Oman Air, the national carrier of the country, is extending its network. The new Muscat International Airport can handle around 12 million passengers per year.