ISLAMABAD: The inauguration of the new Islamabad International Airport has been delayed once again. Now the country’s biggest and most modern airport is likely to become fully operational on May 3rd.
“Earlier, there was a plan to start international flights operation at the new airport from April 20, however, the date was changed due to the ongoing final tests at the site”, Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Deputy Director General Aamir Mahboob said, while talking to the media.
He said, “we were ready to launch flight operation from the 20th, but Advisor of Prime Minister on Aviation and Federal Secretary Aviation directed us to retest all facilities and operations being provided before formal inauguration to avoid any inconvenience to passengers.”
He highlighted the salient features of the new airport in his briefing and informed the journalists that the facility was spread over 4,238 acres of land and was linked with two roads to provide easy access to passengers.
The airport is 30 kilometres away from Zero Point, Islamabad, and 35 kilometres from Rawalpindi Saddar. The new airport terminal building consists of 4 levels, 2 runways, 6 taxi links, 3 rapid taxi ways, and 5 aprons, including a cargo apron and parking bays for wide-body aircrafts.
The airport is fully equipped to handle all types of aircrafts, including Airbus A-380 and is capable of serving nine million passengers and 50,000 metric tons of cargo, annually.
According to details shared with journalists, the new airport will have 70 international check-in counters and 32 domestic check-in counters as compared to 25 and 20, respectively, at BBIAP.
The new airport has the capacity to handle 5,500 bags per hour at departure lounge and 6,000 bags per hour at arrival lounge. The main car parking area has a capacity of 2,200 vehicles with 9 entry and exit points.