Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The New Islamabad International Airport also known as Gandhara International Airport is an under construction international airport nearIslamabad, Pakistan.

The New Islamabad International Airport also known as Gandhara International Airport is an under construction international airport nearIslamabad, Pakistan. Its built to replace the Benazir Bhutto International Airport. It is expected to be complete and operational by 2014. 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 theBenazir Bhutto International Airport (then known as the Fatima Jinnah International 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 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 2014.[1] This airport will be the largest and most modern in Pakistan upon completion.
The naming of the airport has been controversial due to political considerations. Originally named Gandhara International Airport, the PPP government proposed naming the airport Benazir Bhutto International Airport. Most recently public opinion has supported naming the airport Liaquat Ali Khan International Airport.


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