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RAWALPINDI: A new aircraft engineering hanger with an ability to accommodate ATR and Airbus A320 will be completed at the new Islamabad International Airport (IIA) soon. The junior most staff member of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is expected to inaugurate the hanger.

In May 2018, when the new airport was made operational, it was still lacking an aircraft engineering hanger for repairing or doing maintenance work on large and small aircraft which was causing revenue loss to the national flag carrier.

The new hanger will be equipped with the most sophisticated machinery and other equipment for aircraft maintenance and repair. Executive jet aircraft will also be maintained at the new hanger.

The engineering hanger at the old airport in Rawalpindi did not have the facility to cater to A320 aircraft which was also causing huge revenue loss to PIA as airplanes had to be flown to the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi for maintenance and repair work. The airline’s flight schedule also experienced disturbances due to this.

The new hanger at IIA will be opened for business in the next few days. It is being built at the apron’s domestic flights side and engineers have been working round the clock to ensure its early completion.

A PIA spokesperson said the new hanger will be completed soon in line with the directives of the president and chief executive officer, Air Marshal Arshad Malik, who wants it to be completed as soon as possible.

According to a senior official, the CEO wants a junior staff member to inaugurate the engineering hanger. A unit load device area, where baggage transport containers and pallets are stored is also under construction which officials say will also be completed soon.

A technical ground support area where tug masters, toe bars, stairs, tractors, water carts and waste containers are stored is also under construction at the new airport.

Published in Dawn, November 8th, 2018