After being delayed several times due to inefficiency of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and National Highway Authority (NHA) in completing the infrastructural and operational constructions, the inauguration of the Islamabad International Airport has finally been announced. Named after Liaquat Ali Khan, the airport will be inaugurated on 20th April, 2018 according to recent news.
The airport is situated 20 km away from both Rawalpindi and Islamabad near the Kashmir highway. It connects to Islamabad by Kashmir Highway and Rawalpindi by GT Road. Islamabad Metrobus system is being extended to connect it to the airport. The airport will be the largest in Pakistan, currently the only airport capable of supporting Airbus A 230, having two 4 km long runways. It’s current passenger capacity is 15 million but the number is expected to be increased to 25 million in the planned expansions. The terminal currently consists of 15 gates, a four-star hotel, duty-free shops and a food court. Another 2833 acres are being acquired to build another runway.
It is also going to be connected with the China Pakistan Economic Corridor for better transport and cargo facilities. The foundation stone of the project was laid in 2007 and after about 11 years, we are finally going to see it operational. It is expected that on 20th of April, 2018, the Prime Minister of Pakistan Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will inaugurate the airport, beginning the operational phase and moving Pakistan into a new era of connectivity in air transport.