New Islamabad airport finally inaugurated after years of delay
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi officially inaugurated the new Islamabad International Airport on Tuesday. However, the flight operations at the airport will commence on Thursday (May 3).
The much-awaited opening will move all commercial and VIP flights from Benazir Bhutto International Airport (BBIA) to the new airport located about 35 kilometres in the west of the capital city.
Explore in pictures: New Islamabad International Airport
Constructed at a cost of more than Rs100 billion, the Y-shaped airport is located 30 kilometers from Zero Point Islamabad and over 25km from Saddar, Rawalpindi, and is set to be the largest airport in the country. It is designed to facilitate 15 million passengers annually in the first phase, which will increase to 25m after its expansion.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Abbasi lauded the efforts of Sardar Mehtab, Irfan Illahi and Air Marshal Salam and other officials for their efforts to complete the airport project.
“Aviation is close to my heart personally,” said Abbasi, who is associated with a private airline in the country.
“Aviation is a challenging, dynamic field. It keeps changing rapidly and if we don’t change ourselves we will be left behind,” he stressed.
PIA flight marks inaugural touchdown at the new Airport
The national flag carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK-300 landed at the new airport at 11:15am, marking the beginning of a new era.
According to PIA Spokesman Mashood Tajwar, the national flag carrier’s second commercial flight PK-301 will take off for Karachi at around 12:30pm.
— PIA (@Official_PIA) May 1, 2018
International carriers, including Emirates Airlines, Qatar Airways, Thai Airways, China Airlines, Oman Air, Etihad Airways, Saudi Airways, Gulf Air, Kuwait Airways and Turkish Airlines, operate flights to and from Islamabad along with PIA, Shaheen Air and Air Blue.
Airport building and facilities
Spanning over 4,238 acres of land, the new airport consists of two runways, taxiways, apron and parking bays for wide-body aircraft.
The four-level terminal building includes a cargo terminal, fuel farm, a fully-functional state-of-the-art firefighting station and modernized rescue facilities.
The new airport boasts of 15 air-conditioned jetways (boarding bridges), 13 remote bays for larger aircraft and 7 remote bays for ATR and other smaller planes as well as four cargo bays. All 15 bays have separate lounges for travellers.