ISLAMABAD: The Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad officially closes its doors for commercial flights on April 20.
A circular released on Tuesday states that the airport will be shut down and all flights will now take off from the newly constructed Islamabad International Airport. It also adds that the new airport will be fully operational from April 20 from 10 am onwards.
Meanwhile, a local media outlet on Monday reported that a water pipe had burst at the airport, flooding a portion of the domestic baggage claims, as well as, the check-in area.
However, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Director Media Management Syed Aamir Mehboob assured that this was not a big leak and was caused during testing which is not unusual and added that all facilities, equipment and machines are being tested before the airport is made operational.
Prime Minister (PM) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is expected to inaugurate the new airport on Friday. The first flight will be landing despite the fact that the PM had shown reservations during his recent visit to the airport.
Earlier this month on April 7, a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) mock flight landed at the New Islamabad International Airport.
Details released by a local news channel inform that the airport which is designed as “Y” shape, spreads over 19 square kilometres with 15 passenger boarding bridges, it includes facilities to accommodate two double-deck A380 planes, 15 remote bays and seven remote bays for small aircraft.
The facility’s smooth operation will be ensured by the offloading bays that are equipped with 600 USGPM pumps, a storage capacity of 10,000 tons with three vertical tanks, a 3,600 USGPM product pumping system and highly advanced refuelling equipment comprising eight hydrants.
The new airport will be the country’s biggest international airport in terms of frequency flights and the number of passenger handling services. Construction on the project has taken 11 years to complete.