New Islamabad Airport to have capacity of 25m passengers per annum
The New Islamabad International Airport will become operational on May 3. The capital airport is the largest airport of country having state-of-the-art equipment and technology. Initially, nine million passengers will transit through this airport on annual basis. The airport’s ultimate capacity is about 25 million passengers per annum.
A senior official of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Syed Aftab Gilani disclosed this to The News on several questions regarding operationalisation of the airport. He added that this airport will be the most efficient airport from operational point of view.
Aftab Gilani said the airport has two runways and largest passenger aircraft Airbus A380 can land on it. He said A380 aircraft can land only few airports in the world. Contrary to old BBIAP Airport Islamabad, he said the new airport has three rapid exit taxiways which will help the aircraft immediately vacate the runway after landing. At the old airport, large aircraft took five minutes to backtrack and vacate runway which not only caused delays in arrival and departure of succeeding aircraft, but caused extra fuel consumption. He said the old airport had only one runway, whereas the new airport has two runways. Responding to a query, the CAA official stated that if main runway is stuck due to any emergency, secondary runway can be used for the landing of aircraft up to Boeing B777. Therefore, he said, operation of the airport will not be disrupted. He said that with two runways, maintenance work can also be executed efficiently.
Aftab Gilani said the old airport has 11 stands but the new airport has 33 aircraft stands which include 15 bays with state-of-the-art passenger boarding bridges facilities. Pre-conditioned air and pop up pits have also been provided at aircraft stands. The new airport has five aprons including an exclusive apron for the parking of three cargo aircraft. The new airport also has LED airfield lighting system having good brilliance in night for navigation besides reducing electricity and maintenance cost of the airport. It will also be good for environment due to conservation of energy.
The CAA official said the old airport was not having this lighting system, while the new airport has latest navigation aids for the safe and efficient operation of aircraft. He said the main runway 28 L end is equipped with the most sophisticated system of landing i.e. instrument landing system (ILS) Category 3. In Pakistan, only the Lahore Airport is equipped with this system. In South East Asia region, after Delhi and Lahore Airport, Islamabad International Airport will be third airport to have this system. This system helps aircraft landing in 50-metre visibility during foggy season.
Aftab Gilani said the newly installed primary and secondary radar provides better surveillance of aircraft up to 100 nautical mile and 250 nautical mile ranges respectively. He said air traffic control also houses latest air traffic management systems and facilities including 45m high ATC tower for safe and efficient operation of aircraft. Two fire stations are fully equipped with fire vehicles and other resources like three fire tenders, 32,300 litres water,1,000kg foam etc. to meet response time of two to three minutes as per international standard for the emergency of aircraft up to A380 at or in the vicinity of the airport. The new airport has 70 international check in counters and 32 domestic check in counters contrary to 25 international counters and 20 domestic counters at old airport. Baggage throughput of baggage belts in international departure is 5,500 bags per hour and in international arrival it is 6,000 bags per hour.
Aftab Gilani said this baggage handling system also has latest standard three baggage scan machines as per international standards. He said the airport will also have latest perimeter intrusion detection system. Contrary to 600 car parking positions, the new airport will accommodate 2,200 car parking’s with nine exit and entry points. An area of 84,365 sq m has been fixed for the future development of maintenance repair overhaul (MRO) facility at new airport. “Therefore, we can proudly say that Islamabad International Airport will be the safest, most efficient and state-of-the-art airport ensuring safe and efficient operation of aircraft and passengers,” he said.