New Islamabad Airport: ‘Faulty’ airport design stirs Senate debate

Published: June 18, 2016
Lawmakers demand inquiry; govt withdraws debt limitation bill. PHOTO: FILE

Lawmakers demand inquiry; govt withdraws debt limitation bill. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Senate on Friday debated the faulty design of the new Islamabad airport and that the government has not moved against the designers and contractors.

Senator Nauman Wazir pointed out faulty design of the airport during Friday’s session. He told the House that the distance between two runways of the airport was shorter than what international specifications stipulated. This means that at a time, only one aircraft could land at the airport.

Islamabad airport to be completed by year-end, Senate told

He lamented that the government has yet to take action against the designers, builders and engineers of the airport despite the flaws. He demanded an investigation.

After listening to arguments from the members, Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani referred the matter to the concerned standing committee to give its report in the first week of the upcoming session.

Energy efficiency and conservation bill

A report on the national energy efficiency and conservation bill, 2016, was presented by the committee chairman Senator Sardar Yaqoob Khan Nasar in the House.

“The conservation and efficient use of energy is pivotal for the development of Pakistan,” reads the report.

“It [Pakistan] has great potential to alleviate the adverse effects of shortage of energy supply causing serious energy crisis in the country and for this purpose, it is imperative to establish institutions and stipulate mechanisms and procedures for effective conservation and efficient use of energy in Pakistan,”.

Senator Wazir explained that the Senate had referred the bill to the committee, which in turn constituted a sub-committee. But the report was presented in the house without including the sub-committee’s recommendations owing to a procedural fault.

The Senate chairman reminded that the bill was due to lapse before the next session of the House, hence the committee rushed through the report otherwise the bill will have to be referred to a joint session for approval. However, the chairman discouraged such practice in the future.

The Senate, however, passed the bill. It also passed the Deposit Protection Corporation Bill, 2016.

Fiscal responsibility, debt limitation bill withdrawn

The government withdrew a bill to amend the Fiscal Responsibility and Debt Limitation Act, 2005 [The Fiscal Responsibility and Debt Limitation (Amendment) Bill, 2016].

New Islamabad airport embroiled in problems

Leader of the Opposition Aitzaz Ahsan said the government has agreed to place it before the senate, however, it was decided that while the bill may pass, it will not be a money bill.

Minister for Law Zahid Hamid, however, argued that it was a money bill.

“There is no doubt that this is a money bill,” he said, referring to Article 73 of the Constitution to substantiate his point.

Leader of the Opposition Ahsan reminded him that the Senate Standing Committee of Finance has recognised that it is not a money bill.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 18th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Mirza Asif Baig
    Jun 18, 2016 - 9:22AM

    100 Billions for a Faulty Airport?
    Remember: 42 Billion is total Budget of entire FATA.Recommend

  • istaburg
    Jun 18, 2016 - 9:23AM

    Besides the usual ” gone over budget and time” issues, not having parallel landing capable runways is actually not really a moot point….as the traffic in Islamabad, is never going to be high enough to require such an arrangement.

    Whether it was in the original design and never rendered correctly … is of course a different matter entirely !!! Which is entirely possible knowing our state of affairs in Govt and Bureaucracy !!Recommend

  • Saad
    Jun 18, 2016 - 10:10AM

    This is Pakistan. Mitti pao.Recommend

  • abcd
    Jun 18, 2016 - 12:09PM

    maybe it wasn’t supposed to be a parallel runway in the first place. Maybe it was a side lane taken out to turn the aircraft to someone’s house directly so they don’t have to go thru customs and all the stuff poor people have to go thru….and get a direct drop off to their house….

    Smart people…since they can’t be this dumb!!Recommend

  • Tyggar
    Jun 18, 2016 - 5:08PM

    Did no one check the design before it was constructed? It was not constructed in one dayRecommend

  • Pilot
    Jun 19, 2016 - 12:39AM

    New Islamabad airport has been designed by French company Aéroports de Paris Ingenierie (ADPi) and CPG Corporation of Singapore. They are not likely to make such a blunder. The land acquired and the budget did not allow construction of runways 2 Kim’s apart to allow simultaneous operation on the two runways.
    The problem lies in understanding the purpose of having two parallel runways, one is the primary runway and the other one is for emergency use in case the main runway gets blocked due to a burst tyre etc. Karachi and Lahore airports have similar arrangement.
    Why doesn’t CAA educate the senators?Recommend

  • Atif Khan
    Jun 19, 2016 - 1:20AM

    The current Govt is not interested in completing the airport in first place. I visited the site last month and could hardly see any one working there. Just half a dozen people trying to make it look like that some work was under progress. There may have been a messup in runway design but its not something stopping the airport from becoming operational. The other run way is a standby runway, both runways don’t need to be in use simultaneously. Its not the main concern, the main concern is lack of progress. The work is at halt. Perhaps Mr. Ch. Nisar wants the new airport in Rawat.Recommend

  • Parvez
    Jun 19, 2016 - 3:37AM

    Shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted………meaning…….making a noise after the kickback money is safely in their offshore accounts.Recommend

  • syed baqar ahsan
    Jun 19, 2016 - 10:38AM

    there are no faults in new airport only those who doing Haynes act with the project are real culprits. Recommend

    Jul 16, 2016 - 11:45PM

    This means that at a time, only one aircraft could land at the airport. This is the result of appointment NOT ON MERIT. THIS WILL KILL MY COUNTRY……Recommend

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