Islamabad: After years of delays, Pakistan’s New Islamabad International Airport became operational in the capital city on Thursday.
Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) spokesperson Pervez George told the media that the new airport facility became fully operational from Thursday with the arrival and the departure of a number of domestic as well as international flights as per the schedule, Xinhua reported.
The New Islamabad International Airport was initially due to become operational in 2013 but the Pakistani government failed to complete the project in the stipulated time.
After completion, the new airport is set to cater to over nine million passengers and handle 50,000 metric tons of cargo annually as Pakistan is set to become a regional trade and business hub against the backdrop of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The local authorities are expecting a huge influx of Chinese as well as foreign investors and tourists in the country which is set to not only help the local economy grow at a faster pace but also negate the threat of terrorism in the country.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi inaugurated the airport on Tuesday. The PIA’s flight PK-300 carrying 150 passengers became the first flight to land at the new airport, while another PIA flight took off from the airport for Karachi the same day.
The airport is Pakistan’s first Greenfield international airport, and situated around 30 km away from the Federal Capital.