ISLAMABAD: A new aeronautical study has recommended high-rise buildings up to 1,000 feet in Islamabad’s Blue Area from sectors G-6/F-6 to F-10/E-10 and buildings beyond F-10 to get height clearance from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

An official said that the new study recommended maximum height from G-6/F-6 to F-10/E-10 to be 1,000 feet while the buildings which will be built beyond this area of Blue Area will have a maximum limit of 450 feet with approval of the CAA.

The Blue Area is a city business district and it starts from G-6/F-6 and ends in yet to be developed sector of F-17 and E-17. After F-10, E-10, Blue Area moves towards the Islamabad airport side that’s why the height was capped beyond F-10,” said an official of CDA.

He said earlier there was no fixed height limit in Blue Area and CDA used to give permission in accordance with the floor area ratio and plots measuring 5,000 square yards and above were allowed to have a 1:10 floor area ratio.

Says buildings beyond F-10 to get height clearance from CAA

The official said in accordance with the new study, the CDA will make some changes to its regulations and will provide up to 1,000 feet height relaxation to buildings from G-6 to F-10/E-10. After this area, there will be 450 feet height permission, he said.

Sources said CAA in collaboration with Pakistan Air Force (PAF) conducted the aeronautical study. Officials of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and other stakeholders also attended meetings called by CAA.

The study also recommend that standards obstacle lightning in accordance with Civil Aviation Aerodromes (Design and Operations) Regulation shall be provided at the proposed buildings [from G-6 to F10). The CDA shall ensure compliance of the same.

The study said that refuse shall not be kept open but always be stored in covered containers and a proper waste management system would be provided to ensure that birds are not attracted.

The study said CAA would not accept any liability for any loss/damage/inconvenience suffered due to noise or other aviation related activities or any other claim by other organisation person.

It said that no light shall be operated which because of its glare is liable to dazzle pilots of aircraft taking off and landing at that aerodrome or which can be mistaken from an aeronautical ground light.

“Upon commencement of construction in the area, CDA shall ensure installation of non-reflective/anti-glare glasses on the buildings. Moreover, completion certificates of high-rise buildings shall be submitted by the CDA.

The CDA shall ensure that access, as and when required, to site documents, records etc., is provided to the CAA. Enforcement action shall be taken if conditions of the aeronautical study are not complied with.

The area earmarked for construction of high-rises through this aeronautical study is only valid for flight safety purpose and does not cover the no-objection certificates required from other organisations, agencies etc,” read the study.

In 2019, through a notification dated April 1, the CAA had told CDA that NOC from PAF for high-rise buildings in the vicinity of Nur Khan Air Base was still mandatory in accordance with the National Airfield Clearance Policy (NACP).

The CAA letter had stated that after the operationalisation of the new Islamabad International Airport (IIA) on May 3, 2018, any waiver will constitute a serious flight safety concern and pose a potential hazard to the PAF Base Nur Khan (old Benazir Bhutto International Airport).

Regular PAF operations and VVIP/VIP movements are still conducted from this air base. This necessitates ensuring and implementing the NACP.

“PAF is the competent authority to issue NOC for high-rise buildings within 15 km of PAF Base Nur Khan as per NACP [National Airfield Clearance Policy] and Works of Defence Act 1903. The waiver in this regard constitutes a serious flight safety concern and would pose a potential hazard to PAF air operation from the PAF base Nur Khan unless appropriate measures are instituted. Being a major aviation stakeholder, the importance of PAF operation cannot be overruled,” read the letter.

“Foregone in view, NOC from PAF for high-rise buildings in the vicinity of PAF Base [is] still mandatory. PAF would be available for any meeting if required,” the CAA had informed the CDA in 2019.

Published in Dawn, October 7th, 2022

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