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New Islamabad International Airport:

The New Islamabad International Airport also known as Gandhara International Airport is an under construction international airport near Islamabad, Pakistan. Its built to replace the Benazir Bhutto International Airport.

Histroy Of Airport:

The plan to construct a new airport for Islamabad was conceived in the late 1980s to deal with the problem of increased passenger load at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport (then known as the Fatima Jinnah International Fateh Jang Airport (2)Airport). Over congestion at the airport impeded the entire process of passenger handling because of which chaotic scenes became a norm. The concourse hall and car parking area are packed to capacity most of the day. The current annual turnover of passengers at the current airport is about 3.5 million. It was estimated that the number of passengers at the airport is growing by 14 per cent annually compared to national air passenger growth rate of less than four per cent, making it one of the busiest airports in the country. Therefore a site near Fatehjang, Attock District Pakistan was selected as the site for its construction. However the project couldn't be started and was repeatedly postponed till 2005. This finally brought the situation to the point where it could no longer absorb the rising number of passengers. Finally the plan to construct a new airport was announced on January 7, 2005 by Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

 

The New Islamabad International Airport will be the first greenfield airport ever constructed in Pakistan and will be named after the assassinated ex-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto (decided in June 2008 by current Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gillani).The project was announced in January 2005 after a ten-year delay due to political changes in the country and construction began in April 2007, when funding became available.The new airport will eventually replace the overloaded Islamabad International Airport at Chaklala providing better access for the northern areas, north-west frontier province, federally administered tribal areas, Azzad Jammu, Potohar and Kashmir.The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) is the controlling body for the $400m (PKR37bn) project which is likely to see the airport opening for operations in 2011–2012.The new 3,200-acre (13km²) airport site is situated on a plot of land acquired by the PCAA in the 1980s at Pind Ranjah near Fateh Jang (an additional 400 acres have been acquired to build the two runways). The airport will be 20km from the centre of Islamabad, and 23km from Rawalphindi being well served by an excellent highway infrastructure.

The airport will be constructed in two phases. Phase I of the project, which included site preparation and other earth works, was completed in April 2008. About 20% of airside infrastructure work has been completed.Ground is being Fateh Jang Airport (3)levelled for the terminal building and allied facilities. The controlling body Civil Aviation Authority has apportioned contracts worth PKR14.224bn ($178.6m) for construction activities under the self-financed project. Of these PKR11.825bn was allocated for airside infrastructure work. The airport will start operations by 2011.Phase II of the project is underway. It will see car parking for 2,000 vehicles, a covered plaza area for 200 cars, a control tower, maintenance hangar, a 15-gate terminal with ten remote gates, 42 immigration counters, nine baggage claim carousels, 12 X-ray machines, and also office and administration facilities. There will also be a hotel, convention centre, duty-free shops, airside mall, business centre, food court, leisure facilities and banks at the new terminal.

The foundation stone of the project was laid by former President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on April 7, 2007.The CAA asked a team of British architects to design a new airport. The British design was approved by the CAA. The airport is the first-ever green-field airport in Pakistan and would be built at a cost of $300 million. The contract signing ceremony was held at the CAA headquarters at Jinnah International Airport, Karachi. Pervez Akhtar Nawaz, (director general CAA, air marshal) signed an agreement with a renowned international consultant, the Louis Berger Group of USA in association with Pakistani consulting firm GT AASR, to undertake project management services. While the first contract for project management services is signed, the CAA is close to receiving bids and proposals from international design consultants and signature architects for design of the new airport. It was envisaged that the design consultants would commence their services by the end of March 2006. Soon after the mobilization of the project management consultants, other processes for invitation of bids and award of construction contracts will be initiated. It is anticipated that the new facility will become operational by June 30, 2013.This airport will be the largest and most modern in Pakistan upon completion.

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