QUETTA—Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan, along with Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan, Wednesday inaugurated a newly built international terminal at the Quetta airport.
The minister also performed groundbreaking for construction of a mega runway at the airport for operations of Boeing-777 aircraft.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony, he said airports were considered as vital ‘economic & strategic’ assets, and the federal government was taking all possible measures for progress and prosperity of the Balochistan province, an Aviation Division press release said.
The importance of airports in terms of global connectivity has enhanced the requirement of aviation infrastructure.
“Therefore this government has placed aviation sector on its top priority to ensure regional connectivity and bring direct economic benefits to the Quetta airport, which handles about 500,000 passengers annually,” he said.
Currently, the Aviation minister said as many as 38 flights were coming to Quetta airport on weekly basis.
Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority, he said, envisaged expansion of Quetta airport and started construction in 2016. Phase-I of the project was completed in May 2018, which contained domestic terminal only.
Sarwar said, after taking charge of the Aviation Division, he put phase –II of project on top priority and gave clear instructions for its completion expeditiously.
Under the project, the terminal area had been increased from 73,000 square feet (sq ft) to 200,000 sq ft providing spacious areas for smooth passenger flow.
The check-in counters have been increased from 3 to 12 and immigration counters from eight to 26.
The number of baggage belts and seating capacity has surged manifold.
In addition to above, a new facility of state lounge for heads of state and dignitaries have been added.
The minister said under the project, “We have increased the passenger handling capacity to 1.6 million passengers per annum.”
He said the new runway would enable wide body aircraft to land at the Quetta airport and connect the province with other parts of the world.
He directed the authorities concerned for smooth execution of the construction work. “After the runway is completed, flight operations with large aircraft Boeing 777 will be possible.”
The minister said Quetta would have direct flights for Hajj and other countries of the world.
“We will make all-out efforts to complete the phase-3 by October 2021,” he said.—APP