MULTAN: Upgraded in two phases, the Multan International Airport is likely to be inaugurated by the mid of next month.

In the first phase, air-side facilities, including runway, taxiway tracks and apron, were upgraded with Rs2.09 billion under a master plan by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) approved in 2009.

The length of the runway is 10,500 feet (900 feet overrun on both sides) while the width is 150 feet (25 feet shoulders on each side).

The runway can accommodate Boeing 747 and 777 while the apron has been designed to cater two wide-bodied and two narrow bodied aircraft with an area of 36,356 square metres (sqm).

The airfield lighting system is equipped with CAT-I ALF system and modern ILS system and new fire has been completed with four large and four small garages to accommodate fire crash tenders and allied fire-fighting equipment to meet the ICAO-fire category-9 requirement.

In the second phase, a new terminal building and allied facilities were completed with Rs7.036 billion approved in October 2014.

The covered area of the terminal is 30,700 sqm and has composite steel structure with double halls.

The airport has four bridges for passengers boarding while a new car parking has been constructed to accommodate 400 vehicles.

As far as air cargo is concerned, in and out cargo will be 10,000 metric tonnes per year which may increase by 30,00 metric tonnes per year with the passage of time.

A special emphasis has been laid to beef up security in and around the airport.

The new airport has a capacity to handle one million passengers per annum as compared to 100,000 passengers at the old airport.

Published in Dawn, January 31st, 2015

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