ISLAMABAD The New Islamabad International Airport under construction near Fatehjang, Attock District, which was originally scheduled for completion in December 2010, is now expected to be functional by 2014.
This vital project is a typical case of poor planning, inefficient management and improper monitoring that has resulted in huge cost over-runs, while so far depriving the nation of a world-class airport.
Planned in 1984, it could not take-off due to a variety of factors, as mode of work, project parameters and procedure for award of contract were revised a number of times.
Most modern and largest in the country, the green-field airport has been designed in accordance with international standards and practices, employing state-of-the-art facility for wide-body aircrafts of latest generation.
The complex comprises, among other facilities, four rapid-exit taxiways, an apron to accommodate 20 aircraft, a special parking area for ‘hijacked aircraft’, and a 15-gate terminal with 10 remote gates. Its design addresses key issues of safety, security and efficiency.
The new airport will be upgraded in phases to achieve full operational capability to meet traffic of 9.3 million passengers and 80,000 tonnes cargo, projected up to 2030.
The government, which has a poor track record of completing large projects within time-schedules, needs to take effective steps to complete the New Benazir Bhutto International Airport, as it is known now, without further delays and cost over-runs.