LocationNew Islamabad International Airport lies due east of Fateh Jang on the edge of the sprawling Islamabad-Rawalpindi metropolitan area.
DimensionsThe project was conceived back in the 1980s in a bid to replace the overstretched Benazir Bhutto International Airport, which at the current time remains the main airport serving the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. But repeated delays ultimately pushed the opening of the 3,572 acre facility to 2017.
- The airport will be able to service 4,500 people at a time. It will have 15 parking bays and will be able to dock 2 Airbus A-380 planes at the same time.
- New Islamabad Airport will have state of the art facilities for cargo handling, safety and security, passenger facilitation and parking services.
- Two main access roads from M-1 and M-2 motorways will be linked to the airport. Additionally the GT Road will also be linked with the airport.
- The first-ever green-field airport in Pakistan, is being constructed near Fateh Jang, some 20 km from the center of the federal capital, 23 km from Rawalpindi, and just a few kilometers from the Islamabad interchange on M1/M2 motorways.
The New Islamabad Metro Bus ProjectA new Islamabad Metro Bus project worth Rs. 18 Billion will connect the existing Metro bus service to Islamabad Airport as well. The bus service will also be inaugurated with the New Islamabad Airport. It will consist of 4 interchanges and 14 bus stops and will have two major sections. The first section will connect Peshawar Mor with to G-13 sector and the second section will connect G-13 to the N-5 interchange.
DamsTwo dams are also being established to supply the airport with water. Ramma and Kassana dams will be able to supply up to 3.3 million gallons of water each day. The dams will rely on rainwater and once the water level reaches maximum, it would be sufficient for two whole years.
Interesting facts about IIA
- Airport will be completed at the cost of which is more than 170% of its initial statement.
- Airport is expecting to serve 15 Million passengers every year.
- Islamabad international Airport is going to share share the traffic burden of bacha khan international airport (Peshawar).
- Airport will cater needs of Islamabad for next 35 years.
- Airport will linked in Kashmir highway to Islamabad city and Metro bus route.
- The Auditor General of Pakistan also identified violation of the Planning Commission’s project management guidelines, including rules of Public Procurement Regulations Authority in several projects. The report was recently tabled in parliament.
- Tendering for ‘aircraft stand equipment’ was unjustifiably delayed, resulting in payment of higher rates because of limited competition and fluctuations in foreign currency rate. Work on this project was awarded at Rs5.99 billion or 25.3 per cent higher than the engineer’s provisional estimate of Rs4.7 billion.
- “Audit maintains that unjustified delay in tendering process caused award of work at higher rates without revision of the initial Project Cycle (PC) I which was due to weak internal controls.”
- The audit also observed that details of original and final estimates of engineer were also not produced in support of the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) reply.
- For the project titled ‘special baggage handling system for passenger terminal building’, the audit noted that tenders were advertised in May of 2013 but contractors were not even registered with the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) in individual and joint venture capacity. Similarly, additional work of Rs587 million was awarded during negotiation process against PPRA rules.
Design FlawsThe airport was plagued with design flaws which were the main cause of the delays for the finishing of the airport project. Two of the runways were originally planned to allow simultaneous takeoff and landing for two airplanes at a time. The runways were constructed too close together which now only allows one plane to takeoff or land at a time. Hopefully the new airport will not face more delays than it already has. It was originally going to be finished on December 2016 but it was delayed to June 2017 then again to August. It has been delayed by 5 years and its total cost has exceeded Rs. 100 billion in total.
InaugurationThe New Islamabad Airport project has already cost billions of rupees more than its initial estimates and it is yet to be officially inaugurated. CAA has also released a NOTAM announcing the date of airport’s operations. According to this NOTAM issued by Civil Aviation Authority, Islamabad International Airport will be operational by April 16. If (and it’s a big if given the track record of the authorities) the construction or linkage roads don’t face any further delays, we could see the new airport up and running in about six weeks. Considering the years of missed deadlines and delays, it can’t be said with surety when the new airport will begin its operations. It is said that PM Abbasi will inaugurate the airport between 15 to 20th April 2018.
The NameThe Federal Cabinet has approved the final name for the new Islamabad Airport in a meeting held at PM Office. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi headed the cabinet meeting where the name “Islamabad International Airport” was approved for the new airport. The airport will now be officially be called “Islamabad International Airport“.
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