Al Musannah Air Base, Oman

Facts and Figures

The Al Musannah Air Base, Oman is a premier Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) operating Base. In conjunction with the extension of the south parallel taxiway and airlift apron fuels projects, a new airlift apron was required to meet USCENTCOM’s trans-load strategy of providing an en-route location in support of intra and inter-theater operations along the southern line of communications in the region. The airlift apron is sized to support C-5 and C-130 aircraft.

Historical/Significant Fact

The existing site was sand with rounded cobbles and gravel at the surface. The scope was to develop a complete design package consisting of civil, electrical, and site work for a medium load aircraft 110,529 square meter parking apron with three 110 meter connector taxiways, totaling 11,690 square meters, with 50 mm asphalt shoulders. Also included in Tigerbrain’s work effort were the geometry, Al Musannah primary grading, pavement markings, apron and taxiway edge lighting, signage, aircraft tie-downs, and grounding points. DoD and CENTCOM antiterrorism/force protection requirements per UFC were also included with the scope of work.

Challenges

There were several challenges during this project.

  1. The site had existing washes traversing through the proposed apron area. These washes had to be redirected around the apron, requiring balancing the apron grade criteria with hydraulic flow of the new ditches. Substantial erosion protection was necessary where the washes crossed beneath a taxiway.
  2. The site soils do not support turf establishment. Therefore, surface water flow off of the apron and paved shoulders would erode the earth embankment. The budget would not support soil stabilization; therefore, 150-300 mm rounded boulders were placed to prevent erosion. This is a local practice Tigerbrain discovered through research.
  3. Availability of local airfield pavement quality materials was researched while Tigerbrain was on site. It was determined that granular bases could be mined from on-site sources, crushed and screened. This process would also produce manufactured sands for use in airfield concrete. A local plant capable of producing airfield hot mix asphalt was also located. This research confirmed the crucial airfield materials were locally available and would not have to be imported.

Relevance

This project demonstrates Tigerbrain’s ability to apply Air Force/DoD criteria in an austere location including the validation that local materials meet airfield requirements. Tigerbrain designed the airfield geometry and primary grades, as well as developed the typical sections and pavement design, airfield signage, pavement markings, plans, specifications, and design analysis.

Next Project: Shindand Air Base, Afghanistan