ISLAMABAD: After long deliberation and consultation, the federal cabinet has finally approved an official name for the new airport in Pakistan’s capital city. The Federal Cabinet has approved the final name for the new Islamabad Airport in a meeting held at PM Office.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, while chairing the cabinet meeting, approved the project’s name as “Islamabad International Airport”.
Initially conceived in 1984, the airport’s location is around 20 km west of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. The new Airport is being built to replace the existing Benazir Bhutto Airport. The new airport is expected to become operational by April 16, 2018.
The airport is connected to Islamabad via the Kashmir Highway and Rawalpindi via the G.T. Road and the proposed ring road. A four-lane highway is also under construction to serve cargo traffic. The Islamabad Metrobus is also being expanded to connect the airport.
Once completed, it will be the first greenfield airport in Pakistan as well as the first to be capable of handling the Airbus A380.
Built on an area of 3,571.5 acres (14.45 sq km / 5.58 sq mi), the airport has two runways.
It will be capable of serving 15 million passengers every year in its first phase. Further planned expansions will allow it to serve up to 25 million passengers every year.
The terminal includes 15 gates with ten remote gates, a four-star hotel, duty-free shops, food court and 42 immigration counters. Additionally, Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan is acquiring 2,833 acres (11.46 sq km / 4.42 sq mi) of land to build a third runway at the airport.