New Gwadar International Airport (NGIA) has met its fresh completion benchmark as more than 55 percent multi-tier works have finally been accomplished in stipulated time promising its first test flight within 60 days, Gwadar Pro reported it on Sunday. Gwadar Development Authority (GDA) official told Gwadar Pro that the construction of NGIA costing Rs. 51.284 billion is going to be further expedited in the backdrop of the fresh push of government as well as harmonization of all stakeholders including Civil Aviation Authority, Pakistan and China Communications Construction Company (CCCC).
Meanwhile progression on the installation of state-of-the-art security features, an integral part of NGIA is moving into high gear with the installation of 39 hold or hand baggage scanning machines. The scope of work includes procurement/installation of Dual View/Computed Tomography (CT) Hold & Hand Baggage Scanning Machines at NGIA by CAA.
Additionally, NGIA will also be regularly inspected by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and other security agencies like European Citizen Action Service (ECAS), and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to ensure that required security standards are being implemented.
The reliability factor regarding screening of passengers will enhance after the installation of new machines. This will increase the confidence of airline operators regarding the security of passengers & baggage handling systems. Safe airport will encourage foreign airlines to start operations to/from Gwadar and would generate economic activity to benefit CAA and Gwadar.
Besides, the pace of the entire scope of work of NGIA involves civil work, structural work, mechanical work, engineering work, and communication. As per detail, with the joint effort of professional teams of CCCC and CAA, the fencing around NGIA was completed. The rest of work regarding construction of ATC tower, runway, apron, taxiway, operational building, complex registration office, water supply system, PTCL fiber optic, desalination plant, grid station and security system have picked maximum acceleration.
Primarily NGIA spreading over across an area of 4,300 acres will welcome the entire load of national and international passengers. In the second phase, after the cargo complex is built, it will come up with a new capacity to handle multiple cargo stuff.
It will be the biggest in Pakistan and will also become the nation's second airport. It will have the capacity to accommodate narrow-body aircraft such as ATR 72 and Boeing B-737, as well as wide-body aircraft such as Airbus A-380 and Boeing B-747 for domestic and international routes. The airport will be operated under the open sky policy and will be developed under the guidance of CAA.
The under-constructed NGIA is located 26km north-east of the existing airport in Gwadar on the south-western Arabian Sea coast of Balochistan. It is expected to stimulate the development in the Gwadar peninsula and boost trade between Pakistan and China. The project kicked off as an early harvest high-priority project of CPEC in 2014. It was approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) in January 2015.
The project is being funded through a grant agreement signed between China and Pakistan in May 2017. Oman also provided grants in this regard. Soil testing on the project site was started in January 2018 and involved drilling of 300 boreholes in various locations.
The groundbreaking ceremony was held in March 2019. NGIA will also have the provision to build a second runway, which will be located north of the main runway. The greenfield airport will feature a modern terminal building as well.
Credit: Independent News Pakistan-INP