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Another Islamabad airport

Published Sep 21, 2013 07:03am


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FOR the last 66 years we have one airport serving Islamabad, Rawalpindi and the Pakistan Air Force at Chaklala. As a second airport was badly needed, land acquisition, planning and construction of the airport at Fateh Jang was started about five years ago.

Now when almost 70 per cent work is completed, the government comes up with a new plan to build a third airport at Rawat.

The airport at Fateh Jang, if built according to international specifications and allowing for the projected growth in air travel, could serve Islamabad and Rawalpindi comfortably for the next 50 years.

A poor debt-ridden country like Pakistan cannot afford (or needs) three airports for the twin-cities when much bigger cities such as Karachi and Lahore have only one airport each.

The problem with Pakistan is that each successive government has its own set of priority projects. There is no continuity of policy. As soon as a new government occupies the seat of power, it scraps all projects started by the previous government and starts off with its own list.

The fate of the Diamer-Bhasha dam for which funding has already been approved by the World Bank is another case in point.

Such mega projects require billions of dollars and at least a decade to build, spanning two or three governments.

The Planning Commission is the only competent organisation that should be entrusted with projects of this nature. Politicians, presidents, prime ministers and chief ministers and others should not be allowed to interfere in them or alter the plans.

ASIF JAH Karachi

Comments (8) Closed

mohammad Sep 21, 2013 08:39am

new as well as old projects should be completed fast.

ahmedj Sep 21, 2013 01:16pm

There are only three airports of CAA, which generate revenue for the country. Remaining are in loss. Old British times Peshawar Airport is among the profitable airports. However, the only present international facility is outdated and too small for the metropolis of the province. There is a dire need to consider a new airport for the province whose land is already marked two decades ago.
Presently, Peshawar is being used for International/domestic flights by several national and international carriers. Army Aviation, PAF and the Flying Club also use the lone airstrip and occasionally Railways uses the runway as well as the train track cuts through the southern side of the landing strip.
The Provincial govt must also negotiate strongly with the Centre for this project, as CAA is the federal govt

MM Sep 21, 2013 10:39pm

There is no harm in the Capital having a third airport. Most world capitals have two, three or more airports. Karachi always belittles Islamabad. Why such a jealousy?

aisha Sep 21, 2013 10:52pm

the city that contributes less than 1 to the GDP of the country has three airports. we are the biggest joke on this planet.

SH Sep 22, 2013 02:31am

Its ridiculous to have another airport in Islamabad-Rawalpindi - I don't know any major city which have three airports most cities have two airport - a city airport for largely domestic travel and an international bigger one. Islamabad does NOT need another airport, with its small population. I agree with the letter above; we should complete construction of the Fateh Jang airport at the earliest and improve the current dumpy airport for domestic travel. Also don't understand what's this letter got to do with Karachi and Islamabad - its just common sense.

ivehadit Sep 22, 2013 02:42am

Clearly smacks of corruption. And i thought the PML-N had turned a corner on that.

ali Sep 22, 2013 11:35pm

Yes it is a Big Big Big Joke with the nation. 3rd Islamabad Airport, New Islamabad across Margalla clearly indicates that an "Understanding" has been established between PML(N) and Property tycoon Malik Riaz Tehkeydar

ali Sep 22, 2013 11:36pm

@MM: shame. donot compare with developed nations