The on-going construction work for provision of various facilities in the terminal building of new Benazir Bhutto International Airport (BBIA) stepped up to make it operational by 2014.
The work on signage, counters, seating, trolleys, furniture, fitting-out and resource centre in the passenger terminal building is likely to be completed by the end of this year.
An official of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said that prequalification of contractors and firms financially and technically capable of supply and installing the furniture, counters, signage and fitting outs is under process.
He said bids for work will be invited after completion of prequalification process. The official informed that runway of the airport has already been completed while passenger terminal buildings, air traffic control tower and residential block are being completed rapidly.
All the concerned departments have also been directed to complete road-connectivity work, provision of electricity and water, he added.
The New Benazir Bhutto International Airport, located in Fateh Jang Tehsil of Attock District, some 30 km southwest of the Federal Capital, is expected to be completed and operational by 2014.
The project after completion will be the first Greenfield Airport of the country having state of the art and most modernised facilities for ultimately handling 25 million domestic and international passengers per annum as well as cargo traffic.
According to the official, the new airport will replace the existing one. At present, the Benazir Bhutto International Airport is handling 18 airlines, adding, most of the international commercial flights are operated at morning time causing congestion and delays.
However, he was confident that the new airport spread over 3,600 acre would not only serve the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi but also the adjoining provinces of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Estimated to cost about $300 million, the new airport facility would comprise a contemporary state-of-the-art passenger terminal building, control tower, runway with a provision of a secondary runway, taxiways, apron, cargo complex, and hangar together with all the necessary infrastructure and ancillary facilities.
The new airport would cater to the requirements of latest generation of modern passenger aircraft. He said the new airport will have a modular design to handle 6.5 million passengers per annum and 80,000 metric tonnes cargo per annum.
Being a new airport, a significant portion of the land has been earmarked for commercial purposes such as duty free shops, hotel, convention centre, air malls, business centre, food courts, leisure and recreational facilities.
The new airport is envisaged to be a modern landmark structure symbolising 21st century Pakistan, as it will be the diplomatic and business gateway to Pakistan through Islamabad.
Associated Press of Pakistan