First mock PIA flight scheduled from Islamabad’s new international airport

First mock PIA flight scheduled from Islamabad’s new international airport

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RAWALPINDI: On Saturday, Pakistan International Airline (PIA) has successfully scheduled its first mock flight from the New Islamabad International Airport.

Nevertheless, the airport will be inaugurated formally on 20th April for regular on-going international and domestic flights. Therefore, the old Benazir Bhutto International Airport will be shifted to the new airport between April 19 and April 20.

The “Y” shaped new airport spreads over 19 square kilometers with 15 jetties (passenger boarding bridges), including additional facilities to accommodate two double-deck A380, the world’s largest airplane, 15 remote bays and seven remote bays for small aircraft such as ATRs. It will be the biggest international airport of Pakistan in terms of landing and passenger-oriented facilities.

For the 15 bays, the same number of lounges have been built to avoid the hassle amid passengers. The new airport has two runways, each being 3.5 km long.

Families of PIA employees have been cordially invited to go through a mock check-in procedure before the formal opening of airport scheduled on 20th April.

The PIA management has decided to conduct a mock exercise of landing a passenger plane and handling the passengers’ check-in by its staff, crew members, customs, Airport Security Force, Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) and other relevant agencies.

The construction work on the new airport located 30 km from Islamabad commenced in April 2007.

On Saturday, a PIA flight will land at the new airport with nearly 250 family members of PIA employees, coming to the airport as passengers of the mock flight will pass through the security check, baggage scanning by ASF and search by the ANF and then proceed to the customs counters before getting boarding cards.

Moreover, wheelchairs will be arranged for the physically-challenged and sick passengers who will be boarded on plane by ambo-lifters.

The employees’ families have been issued special passes and directed to reach the airport by 8:45am. Those who will be using their private cars will be issued special passes while others will be led to the lounges by the PIA employees.

The PIA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Musharraf Rasool Cyan will observe the mock exercise.

The new airport will have five level security systems for baggage check, a food court, mini-cinema, children’s play area and car parking for 2,200 to 2,500 vehicles. Besides public car parking, a separate car parking has been allotted for the airport staff.

Five conveyer belts for international arrival lounge and three for domestic arrival lounge have been established for passengers’ convenience. Passenger lounges are embellished with truck art works.

Initially, the airport was to have nine bays for parking of aircraft but was later increased to 15.

The airport also has the provision of extant ion, if required.

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Urooj Fatima

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