New Islamabad Airport to be fully operational by June 2017

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ISLAMABAD, July 28 (APP): The New Islamabad International Airport (NIIA), having to support landing and parking of A-380, the biggest passenger aircraft of the world, would be fully operational by June 2017.

The schedule date of completion of all construction works of the project is December 25, this year. After completion of all awarded packages, six to eight months would be required for testing and operationization of the airport, according to official sources here on Thursday.

The federal government has allocated Rs 3 billion under Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the year 2016-17 for construction of road network of New Islamabad International Airport (NIIA).

The National Highway Authority (NHA) has also started work on roads leading to the new 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 airport would be equipped with cutting-edge technologies and state-of-the-art facilities for passengers to meet the 21st century challenges.

The much delayed mega project, having an area of 3,289 acres, is being built to replace the existing Benazir Bhutto International Airport.

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.

According to a senior official of CAA, the latest landing system would allow planes to land in harsh weather and dense fog. With the help of Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco), the NIIA has established its own grid station for power supply.

The airport consists of 90 check-in counters and a parking facility for 2,000 vehicles, car parking for 22,000 vehicles, a covered plaza area for 200 cars, a control tower, maintenance hangar, a 15-gate terminal with ten remote gates, a four star hotel, convention centre, duty-free shops, food court, two-runways, six-taxiways, five-aprons, 15 passenger boarding bridges, runway lightening system CATE-III, 150KMT cargo handling facility, and 42 immigration counters.

The new airport had also introduced the highest baggage security system in the country • five levels of security screening process for luggage.

More than 10,000 plants had been planted in the airport to make the atmosphere healthy and green.

The airport is also likely to create massive job opportunities and other commercial activities in the area.