The initial estimated cost of PC-1 in the development of new Islamabad Airport was Rs. 37 billion which is now escalated to Rs. 100 billion, an increase of 170 percent in total costs.
The main target of this new airport is to increase air traffic substantially, officials of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) told the newspaper that the new airport would be able to serve 15 million passengers every year.
The CAA officials further explained that they received many requests form international airlines in order to increase air traffic for their flights including Gulf Airlines which was most interested in this development. As we could not accommodate these requests to increase air traffic because Benazir Bhutto International Airport was not spacious enough to do this, said the officials CAA
Benazir Bhutto International airport is currently serving 4.7 million passengers per annum which would be increased to 15 million when new Islamabad airport becomes operational.
The new Islamabad airport will also accommodate Bacha Khan International Airport Peshawar, currently Bacha Khan Airport is overcrowded due to less space and facilities. The air traffic of Bacha Khan airport will be diverted to new Islamabad airport because both cities are interlinked with motorway. It is estimated that the new airport will be able to cater the growing needs and requirements of passengers for up to 35 years.
If we look at both airports comparatively, the BBIA currently has 20 check-in counters and parking for 400 vehicles maximum. On contrary new airport, has 90 check-in counters and over 2,000 vehicles can be parked there without any problems.
Almost 95 percent of the work related to buildings of new airport is completed, the airport is already set to be inaugurated on 14th of August by PM, and it will be operational on August 14, as committed by the PM.
Roads and other bus routes are under construction for which the government has allocated over Rs. 16 billion. Metro bus which was not part of the new airport has been included with a view to facilitate access of commuters to and from the airport. This will be completed by 14 August as well, he added.
The new airport is Greenfield airport with latest technology up to international standards, has hotels, retail activities and up-to-date infrastructure which will accommodate potential airlines in a better way, he added.
There is still a question that needs to be answered that how the cost of Airport project hiked to Rs. 100 billion from Rs. 37 billion estimated initially, 170 percent increase is not a joke.