ISLAMABAD: The federal government has allocated three billion rupees under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the year 2016-2017 for construction of road network of the New Islamabad International Airport (NIIA).
The first-ever green-field airport, having a capacity to support landing and parking of Airbus-380, the biggest passenger aircraft of the world, is being constructed near Fateh Jang, some 20 kilometres from the centre of the federal capital, and 23 kilometres from Rawalpindi.
The new airport is being constructed just a few kilometres from the Islamabad interchange on the M1/M2 motorways. The airport would be equipped with cutting-edge technologies and state-of-the-art facilities for the passengers.
The much-delayed mega project covers an area of 3,289 acres.
According to sources, the inordinate delay occurred in the completion of the project due to land acquisition process, frequently changing directors, cancellation and revival of contracts with international companies, lack of easy access road for shifting heavy machinery and absence of water and electricity resources in the area.
A senior official of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said the latest landing system would allow planes to land in harsh weather conditions.
With the help of the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco), the NIIA has established its own grid station for power supply.
The airport, once completed, will have 90 check-in counters and a parking facility for 2,000 vehicles, a control tower, maintenance hangar, a 15-gate terminal with ten remote gates, a four-star hotel, a convention centre, duty-free shops, food court, two-runways, six taxiways, five aprons, 15 passenger boarding bridges, runway lightening system, 150KMT cargo handling facility, and 42 immigration counters.
The new airport will also feature the highest baggage security system in the country that is five levels of security screening process for luggage.
More than 10,000 saplings have been planted in the airport area to make the atmosphere healthy and green. The airport is also likely to create massive job opportunities and other commercial activities in the area.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 20th, 2016.