BBIA facilitates 390,000 passengers, 3,060 flights, 900,000 visitors monthly

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BBIA facilitates 390,000 passengers, 3,060 flights, 900,000 visitors monthly

By Muhammad Aslam

ISLAMABAD, June 19 (APP): Despite restraint of resources,  Benazir Bhutto International Airport (BBIA) – 3rd largest and  busiest facility after Jinnah and Allama Iqbal Airports in the  country, is handling 390,000 passengers, 3,060 flights and  900,000 visitors every month in a highly professional manner.

With passage of time and Rs 479 million’s recent renovation,  the airport has become a preferred choice for both domestic and international passengers due to the improved facilities being  extended by the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) in  collaboration with 11 different supportive agencies and  departments round the clock.

The BBIA, being the federal capital airport where foreign  dignitaries, politicians, businessmen, passengers from surrounding localities of the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi frequently  visit, remains bustling with activities as flights of three domestic  and 13 international airlines land and take-off even at all odd hours.

Ayesha Shahid, who arrived at the airport last week from US,  said being a `fairly regular international traveler, it was a great experience to land at the BBIA. “When I landed, all the procedures  were systematic, quick and well managed. Even I found free Wi-Fi  instantly. The luggage arrived on time and any questions I had,  were answered b helpful staff all around,” she remarked.

Another passenger, Haider Naqvi, said “With the recent  renovations, the airport is really well constructed and has  good services. But, a little expensive.”

Farhan Sarwar, another traveler, said visiting the BBIAP  was overall a good experience, adding, “No mismanagement was  seen as I had heard.”

Sultan Ahmed, who travelled from Karachi to Islamabd, said  it was a pleasure to see the renovated bathrooms clean and no  smell.” Good work, however, it needs regular maintenance.”

Spokesperson of Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA)  Ms Fariha Shah told APP that the airport was handling approximately  13,000 passengers both domestic and international regardless of traveling class, 51 scheduled departure/arrival flights, 25,000  to 30,000 meeters and greeters per day.

Because of passengers’ heavy traffic, she said, it was a  tough job for the airport staff to maintain quality of service  and to satisfy each and every passenger, but the airport management was ensuring it in an efficient way.

“Due to the very nature of airports, there are other  functionaries or agencies which play their respective role to  ensure smooth working at the airport, besides safety and security with all ease of passengers as well as visitors,” she said.

Elaborating, the spokesperson said, BBIA had approximately  11 different agencies/functionaries including Immigration and  Passport, National Database and Regulatory Authority (NADRA),  Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Pakistan Customs, Anti-Narcotics  Force (ANF), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA), Airport Security Force (ASF), Bureau of Immigration Overseas Employment, Ministry of Religious Affairs and Overseas Pakistani Foundation (OPF) to facilitate passengers.

Besides, she said, there were three domestic airlines (PIA,  Shaheen and Air Blue) and approximately 13 foreign airlines operating  from the airport to domestic and international designations and vice  versa.

Primarily, she said, a passenger engaged with the airlines’  staff as he/she went through the boarding or arrival process at  airport. “In case of any delay or cancellation of flights, the passenger’s traveling experience turns from good to bad and further  worsens when he/she is not properly handled or given correct and  timely information. ”

Courteous behavior of the functionaries, along with comfortable,  clean and safe environment provided by PCAA also count in the overall  travel experience.

She said the authority had set up special complaint cells in all lounges, concourse hall and duty manager’s office where passengers  could register their grievances and give feedback to further improve  the existing services.

Passengers can also call at toll free number 0800-00114 or 111-222 114 or email at feedback.bbiap@caapakistan.com.pk or a web  form available at CAA website: http://atfmslive.caapakistan.com.pk/pcs/
Once the complaint is received, it is entered into a software  system on a priority and a tracking number is allotted. The complaint  is then forwarded to the relevant department,airline or agency  whichever applicable for investigation purposes.

An interim reply is also sent to the passenger within 48 hours  of the complaint registration. A senior PCAA officer is deputed to  review and resolve the complaint, which is also communicated to the passenger and the query is closed in the system.

Summary of the unresolved complaints is regularly compiled and presented to the airport management for quick resolution in order
to provide improved services to air travelers.

The spokesperson said average 60 complaints were registered
with the designated cells per month that was not a worrisome
figure, keeping in view the volume of passengers’ traffic.

Giving details, Fariha said the nature of complaints vary  from minor thefts to missing precious items from passenger  baggage, delay and cancellation of flights to non-issuance of boarding card, late receipt of passenger baggage and provision  of low quality food items.

The PCAA, Fariha said, had introduced branded food outlets  at the airport besides providing clean and cold drinking water  for passengers and their meeters/greeters, appropriate seating  for elderly citizens in Concourse Hall, 32 public toilets in  general car parking to keep the quality service intact.

Recently, she said, the authority launched an awareness  campaign titled “Passenger Rights” during which it educated the  passengers about their rights related to lost baggage.

“The BBIA management has taken drastic security measures to  ensure secure and safe environment for passengers by installing  close circuit television cameras at strategic locations, which  helped in curbing criminal elements,” she remarked.