New Islamabad Airport to be Completed by Next Year

After being stuck in development hell for several years, New Islamabad Airport will finally be opened to the public by next year, according to Secretary Aviation Division Irfan Elahi.

During a briefing to the National Assembly Standing Committee (NASC) members, he said that the access roads to the airport will be completed within this year and regular flights will start from 30th June 2017.

The Start of the Project

The project first started in 1984, the purchase of land also started the same year near Fatehjang. The average price per kanal of the land bought was around Rs 70,000.

The construction was started after the prime minister at that time Shaukat Aziz laid the foundation stone for the airport in 2004. The construction was started without apporving the design and it was given to 17 different contractors.

Project Details

Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Rawalpindi currently serves around 3 million people every year. It has 20 check in counters and parking space for upto 400 vehicles. The new airport will have 90 check in counters, space for 2000 vehicles and can serve upto 9 million people per year.

The chairman of the NASC Rana Mohammad Hayat Khan said that there should be no further delays in the completion of the airport project.

The cost of the project has also increased due to various reasons and we cannot afford further delays

He added that the quality should also be maintained during the construction as the quality of the airport will reflect the image of the country due to being in the capitol city in the federal territory.

Design Flaw

During the meeting of the NASC, questions were raised about the runways being too close to allow two aircrafts to land or take-off at the same time. An official from the Civil Aviation Authority replied that,

Sometimes, a runway cannot be used due to problems such leaked fuel on the runway. So instead of stopping flight operations, the second runway will be used should those circumstances present.

Despite the obvious cover up by the Civil Aviation Authority, the design is still clearly flawed in nature. The original design called for two runways to allow for taking off and landing at the same time but the runways were constructed too close together to allow simultaneous take off and landing on the two runways.

Regardless, it will be the best airport in Pakistan once it goes into operation.

A techie, Overwatch and Street Fighter enthusiast, and Editor at ProPakistani.

  • The design is not flawed. This is how it was designed from day one. Whether it was a smart move or not that’s a different story

    • You mean to say that if the design is faulty from day one, it’s not a design flaw?

  • Its only in Pakistan that you can get away with such blunders. Culprit must be hanged. Oh! but we have not even fixed the responsibility. Must be someone’s blue eyed or a blood relation, appointed for ulterior motives

    • who knows maybe it was done on purpose, you know what i mean ;)
      more construction mean more money required….more money required mean more comission :)

  • It will need a miracle to start operations by June next year. I visited the facility two months back and the way work was progressing, it should take atleast 5 more years to come close to completion. In fact the granite flooring they had already laid down has started cracking at so many places. Believe me, the run way issue may be a blunder but its no deal stopper. We don’t have that much traffic so that multiple run ways are a mandatory requirement. Even Quaid e Azam International, which has a far bigger passenger count, uses only one runway at a time. Forget runways, there is so much work remaining in other domains. I could hardly find 20 people working on a project of this scale. Just tells you the seriousness of higher ups. Its moving at snail’s pace. I visited the facility back in 2013 and then visited it in 2016. It was so sad to see that not much had changed in 3 years. Further to this, the recently completed renovation of that crap airport type thing in Pindi and uplift of roads leading to it also raise suspicions about govt’s intention of making the new airport operational anytime soon. Why would someone spend billions on an old junkyard when he/she is about to go for an all new facility? Beyond my comprehension atleast.

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