New Islamabad Airport inauguration postponed yet again due to delay in construction work, despite assurance by government
Islamabad’s long-delayed New Airport which was anticipated to open in December 2017 is facing new setback and may not open until next year despite the promises and commitments by the government.
The delay has disappointed the people of Islamabad. Pakistanis have bee eagerly waiting for the inauguration of new the airport as the current Benazir International Airport in Rawalpindi is considered one of the worst in the country in terms of facilities.
In a meeting at Parliament, chaired by Senator Talha Mehmood, officials expressed their displeasure over the slew of irregularities and slow construction on the new airport.
Chairman Senate Standing committee Senator Talha Mehmood said that the cost of construction of new Islamabad International Airport is immensely increasing due to flawed planning and repeated delays.
Due to poor planning, the project has been facing delays since 2007 and the initial cost of Rs32 billion has now increased to Rs82 billion.
Despite claims by the senior officials of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) about work achieved on the airport, Senator Talha said that according to his data there was plenty of work to be completed including the bags services.
He further said that officials had announced August 14 is the inauguration date and said that the delays were caused by the National Highway Authority (NHA) could not complete road links to the airport on time. Senator Talha said the NHA has assured that link roads will be completed by November this year.
He directed that housing societies on land where the third runway would be built should be clearly demarcated. The committee asked officials to stopped illegal construction in the area after serving due notices and all those housing societies granted a no-objection certificate to construct in the area should be re-audited.
The parliamentary panel also decided to conduct another on-ground visit of the new airport to examine the issues.
The new expected date of inaugurating the Islamabad Airport could be January 2018 due to slow construction work according to sources.