"Wavescan" is a weekly program for long distance radio hobbyists produced by Dr. Adrian M. Peterson, Coordinator of International Relations for Adventist World Radio. AWR carries the program over many of its stations (including shortwave). Adrian Peterson is a highly regarded DXer and radio historian, and often includes features on radio history in his program. We are reproducing those features below, with Dr. Peterson's permission and assistance.
Wavescan 416, December 15, 2002
The new BBC Station in Oman
The encyclopaedia tells us that Oman is a small country located on the south eastern tip of the Arabian peninsula. The total area is less than 100,000 square miles and the total population is estimated to be in excess of one million people. Arabic is the official language
Oman is described as one of the hottest places on earth with one of the lowest rainfalls. The temperature can rise to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, 54 degrees Celsius, and the rainfall is around six inches per year.
Much of inland Oman is a desolate sandy wilderness where nothing grows, though there is an abundance of underground petroleum reserves. In coastal areas, fishing is an important way of life.
European influence began some six hundred years ago when Portugal took over the territory that is now Oman. However, in 1798 the British signed an agreement with the local rulers and Britain has maintained a close relationship with Oman since that time.
Work commenced on the new radio station at AíSeela, near Al Ashkarah, in March 2000. This facility houses three shortwave transmitters at 250 kw made by Thomcast, and two mediumwave transmitters at 800 kw. There is also a rotatabale shortwave antenna at this new station.
This new station is owned by the BBC and it was built by Merlin, who are also managing the facility. It was designed and constructed as a replacement for the station on Masirah Island which is more than 30 years old.
The phase over of programming from the old station at Masirah to the new station on the Omani mainland began in August, earlier this year. The final transfer of all programming to the new station occured at the beginning of the new broadcast day on October 8.
The rugged old station on Masirah Island is now silent, but the new station at Al Ashkarah is now on the air loud and clear.