New Islamabad Airport finally set to open on April 20 after years of delay and controversies
Pakistan’s first greenfield airport, New Islamabad International Airport, will be operational for international and domestic flights from April 20 after years of delay.
On April 7, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) successfully conducted a mock exercise involving landing a passenger plane at the New Islamabad International Airport. This exercise signals that the opening of the new Islamabad Airport will be on time.
The Y-shaped airport is located 20 kilometres from Zero Point Islamabad and over 25 kilometres from Saddar, Rawalpindi.
It will be the biggest international airport in the country in terms of landing and passenger handling facilities. The airport has been built according to international standards to cement its place as the country’s premier airport.
The new airport will have five level security systems for baggage check, a food court, mini-cinema, children’s play area and car parking for 2,200 to 2,500 vehicles. Besides the public car parking, a separate car parking has been built for the airport staff.
Besides a four-level terminal building, two runways, taxiways, apron and two parking bays for wide-body aircraft A-380 have been built. There will also be a cargo terminal, fuel farm, air traffic control complex as well as a fully-functional state-of-the-art firefighting station and modern rescue facilities.
The new airport will have 15 air-conditioned jetways or passenger boarding bridges, 13 remote bays for larger aircraft and 7 remote bays for ATR and other smaller planes, in addition to four cargo bays. Of the 15 jetways – two have been specified for the wide-body aircraft A380. The Benazir Bhutto International Airport had no boarding bridges which was a huge problem for passengers, especially during bad weather.
According to reports, more than 500 Airport Security Force personnel will be required to be deployed at 85 security towers at the new IIA to ensure safety for all passengers.
Breakdown of the Airport Building
At level 1 – there are the international and domestic passengers’ arrival area and collection bays for baggage. Airline offices and the engineering department will also be housed on the first level.
At level II – there are the domestic arrivals and departure lounges, boarding bridges, visitors’ gallery, car parking, and Immigration counters for international passengers.
At level III – there are international and domestic check-ins – baggage drop after check-in security scanning, international immigration departure and other airlines offices.
At level IV – there are state lounges and commercially important persons (CIP) lounges, in addition, a crew briefing hall.