ISLAMABAD – The long-awaited New Islamabad International Airport has been officially inaugurated on Tuesday by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
First commercial flight of Pakistan International Airlines, PK-300, carrying 150 passengers made inaugural landing at the new shiny airport at 11am, while first flight of the national airline will depart for Karachi at 12.30 pm.
The opening of the airport was earlier set to be held on April 20 but it was postponed due to some technical glitches and security issues.
One day to go! Are you ready for PIA’s inaugural flight to the New Islamabad International Airport?! You will get memorabilia for this special flight, along with special flight meals & the finest in–flight services! So, don’t miss out & stay tuned! #PIA #NewPIA #FirstFlightIIAP pic.twitter.com/HPbF93WvFH
— PIA (@Official_PIA) April 30, 2018
The complete operation will commence from Thursday (May 3). All commercial and VIP flights from Benazir Bhutto International Airport (BBIA) will be shifted to the new airport.
Addressing the inauguration ceremony, Abbasi said that the incumbent government started various development projects and completed them.
He said that a project regarding extension of Allama Iqbal International Airport, Lahore, will also be launched, adding that air travel has become necessity these days.
He thanked his aviation adviser Mehtab Abbasi and former Civil Aviation Authority chief Air Marshal (retd) Asim Suleman and other officials on achieving the milestone.
The new Y-shaped airport spreads over 19 square kilometres with 15 jetties (passenger boarding bridges), including facilities to accommodate two double-deck A380, the world’s largest airplane, 15 remote bays and seven remote bays for small aircraft such as ATRs. It will be the biggest international airport of the country in terms of landing and passenger handling facilities.
For the 15 bays, the same number of lounges has been built to avoid mixing of passengers. The new airport has two runways each 3.5 km long.
The construction work on the new airport located 30 km from Islamabad started in April 2007.
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.
On Monday, the Minister for Interior, Planning and Development & Reform Ahsan Iqbal accompanied by the Director General Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Secretary Aviation and other officials visited the New Islamabad International Airport on Monday and reviewed facilities being provided to the passengers.
The interior minister directed the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to provide best possible facilities to the passengers.
Talking to media, Ahsan Iqbal said that the new airport was a victim of lack of direction and planning. He said that in five years we have worked hard with allied ministries & departments in not only actualizing but effectively completing this project.
وفاقی وزیر جناب احسن اقبال کا اچانک نیو اسلام آباد ائیر پورٹ کا دورہ۔ جناب احسن اقبال نے ائیرپورٹ کے مختلف حصوں کا معائنہ کیا pic.twitter.com/bMJVTrm8RP
— Ministry of PD&R (@PlanComPakistan) April 30, 2018