First plane touches down at new Islamabad airport on Saturday

  • The Y-shaped airport - biggest international airport of the South Asian country - spreads over 19 square kilometers with 15 jetties (passenger boarding bridges)
Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – A mock flight of Pakistan International Airline (PIA), carrying nearly 250 family members of the national flag-carrier’s employees, will land at the New Islamabad International Airport tomorrow.

PIA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Musharraf Rasool Cyan will observe the mock exercise, two weeks ahead of formal opening of the airport on April 20 for regular international and domestic flights, the DAWN reprorts.

The old Benazir Bhutto International Airport will be transferred to the new airport between April 19 and April 20.

The mock exercise will include landing a passenger plane and handling the passengers check-in by its staff, crew members, customs, Airport Security Force, Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) and other relevant agencies.

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.

Five conveyer belts for international arrival lounge and three for domestic arrival lounge have been erected to facilitate the passengers. Passenger lounges are decorated with truck art works.

The airport also has the provision of extansion, if required.