In a significant operation at Islamabad International Airport, the Airport Security Force (ASF) has successfully intercepted a major drug smuggling attempt. The authorities recovered heroin worth an estimated Rs. 70 million from a passenger who was bound for an Istanbul-bound flight. The accused concealed 5 kilograms and 448 grams of drugs in the luggage.
This operation sheds light on the ongoing challenges faced by airport security in combating drug trafficking. The ASF’s swift action has thwarted a potentially disastrous situation.
In other aviation-related news, the federal cabinet has opted to delay its plans for outsourcing airport operations. This decision follows a comprehensive presentation by the Aviation Division to the Cabinet on 29 August 2023, regarding the outsourcing of Islamabad International Airport. The presentation emphasized the potential benefits of private sector involvement, drawing inspiration from successful international examples.
Efforts to outsource major airports in Pakistan, including Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi, have been in progress for several years. The government’s aim is to utilize the Public-Private Partnership Authority Act 2017 framework to select private partners responsible for various aspects of airport management, with an eventual transfer back to the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA).
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) was appointed as the transaction advisor to guide this ambitious project, marking a significant step toward improving airport services and attracting investment in the country’s aviation sector.