Faisalabad International Airport
|فیصل آباد انٹرنیشنل ایئر پورٹ|
|IATA: LYP – ICAO: OPFA
|Operator||Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority|
|Elevation AMSL||607 ft / 185 m|
Faisalabad International Airport (IATA: LYP, ICAO: OPFA) is situated on Jhang Road, 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) away from the city centre of Faisalabad, in the Punjab province of Pakistan. It is not as large as the other airports in Pakistan, as it operates to cater mainly to the population of Faisalabad, Jaranwala, Jhang, Chiniot, Gojra, Dijkot, khurrianwala, Sangla Hill, Toba Tek Singh, Rabwah, Sargodha, Bhawana, Chak Jhumra, Khichian, and Lalian.
The airport traces into origins not too far into the past. The founder of the city decided that Faisalabad had a strategic position within the British Empire. In 1942, the local government gave permission for the construction of a bricked strip measuring 5000' by 100'. Various regional aircraft used the strip for a short time however as technology progressed the airstrip became quite out-dated. The national flag carrier, Pakistan International Airlines began domestic operations in 1958 operating various flights from Karachi to expand on exports and imports from the city. It was not until 1965, the bricked airstrip was re-built to meet standards at that time. The surface was built using bitumen and the length of the runway increased to 9000' by 100' to allow the airport to handle larger jet fuelled aircraft. During 1966-1967 the construction of an airport terminal and an apron to handle prop aircraft such as the Fokker F-27 Friendship was constructed.
In 1972 a new parallel runway with dimensions 9000 feet by 100 feet was constructed west of the existing runway, since the existing runway had deteriorated quite significantly. The new runway was designed to handle even larger aircraft such as the Boeing 737. In 1974 a jet apron, Taxiway-B, Air Traffic Control building and Met offices were constructed. A premium lounge and ILS were installed in 1985. In 1986 the terminal building was extended to accommodate greater number of passengers and meet future growth in air travel for the city. In 1991, the old runway was widened, strengthened and extended reaching dimensions of 9270' by 150' with surface bitumen to accommodate Airbus aircraft such as Airbus 310s. In 1993, CIP Lounge was constructed and terminal building was extended to accommodate greater travel growth. In 1998, direct Hajj operations were started from the airport annually, allowing more flights and traffic growth for the airport.
Due to more flights and greater estimates of passenger growth of the airport. Faisalabad International Airport is expected to be re-developed to meet the growth patterns for the next decade. However the CAA of Pakistan has not finalised the plans on the construction. According to a report on December 17, 2008 the Ministry of Defence chairman, Chaudhary Mukhtar Ahmed announced that the airport apron and taxi-ways would be upgraded so it can handle larger wide-body aircraft. Allocation of Rs. 100m have been allocated from the Annual Development programme.
Faisalabad Need International Standard Airport
Faisalabad is a major export generator for Pakistan, many have criticised why the airport has not been developed into a large cargo hub to meet international growth and improve the city's economy. The airport is expected to be upgraded to make it compatible to meet the growth of future flights and cargo operations. It is a fact that CAA plans to upgrade facilities at Faisalabad Airport.
The proposal includes up-gradation of Apron and Taxiway for operations by wide body aircraft. Both up-gradation works is planned during the current financial year for which Rs. 100 million has been catered for in the Annual Development Programme. Direct Hajj flights from Faisalabad and shifting back of PIA offices from airport to city as well as appointment of PIA district manager office are being carried out on immediate basis. This assurance was given to Rana Arif Tauseef, newly elected Chairman All Pakistan Textile Mills Association by Secretary Defence Lt-Gen (r) Syed Athar Ali during a meeting at Islamabad. Rana Asif Tauseef, Minister of state for privatization and Rana Zahid Tauseef, former district Nazim Faisalabad also participated in the meeting.
Talking to newsmen after his return from Islamabad here, Rana Arif Tauseef stated that he had apprised the secretary defence of the difficulties being faced by the pilgrims from Faisalabad and surrounding areas. He said that in the absence of direct flight, the intending pilgrims have either to rout their travel towards Karachi and Jeddah onward or have to travel by road to reach Lahore airport for onward travel. This circumlocutory travel becomes unbearable for the old age and weak pilgrims and also involved 12 to 14 hours travel time instead of direct flight time of 5 hours. In view of this cumbersome exercise starting direct hajj flights from Faisalabad has become imperative, he said.He also apprised the Secretary Defence that PTEA had financially assisted the civil aviation in upgrading the Faisalabad airport for international flights. However due to some unknown reasons the dream of international flights has remained unfulfilled.
He emphasized that Faisalabad was third biggest city of the country and a textile centre of international repute and export originating destination. Large number of foreign buyers visits Faisalabad while the local exporters frequently travel to Europe and the US and have succeeded in exporting textile worth $4 billion annually. He further stated that all over the world, businessmen are resorting to air routes for faster transportation of their export goods instead of the sea routes. While the Faisalabad exporters are constrained to export through sea rout in the absence of air cargo export facility.
PTEA Chairman also demanded shifting back of PIA offices from airport to city which had been shifted to airport in the after math bomb blast March last. He also demanded appointment of full fledged district manager PIA which seat is lying vacant since long. As a result of which the travel business is heavily suffering and Faisalabad citizens are diverting towards Lahore and Karachi.
Secretary Defence assured the chairman that all these difficulties would be removed in near future.
Faisalabad Airport to be upgraded by businessman
The Faisalabad Airport will be upgraded with the help of local businessmen on the pattern of Sialkot Airport, enabling PIA and other airlines to start their international flights and provide cargo facilities to local exporters and importers. Talking to The News, Commissioner Syed Tahir Hussain said that appropriate arrangements for expansion of the airport at a cost of Rs 1,200 million would be made to ensure safe and efficient landing and parking of large airliners. He said that being a textile hub of the country, Faisalabad deserved adequate airport facilities commensurate with its status. The commissioner said that he had recently informed the representatives and office-bearers of various trade bodies, including the Faisalabad Chamber Of Commerce and Industries and Industry, All Pakistan Cloth Exporters Association, All Pakistan Textile Processing Mills Association, the Faisalabad Development Trust, Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development and Management Company, Anjuman-e-Tajran, the Civil Aviation, and other authorities concerned. He added that it was resolved in the meeting that the upgradation project should be taken up as early as possible.
He disclosed that industrialists and businessmen were of the view that a company should be constituted with 51 per cent controlling shares of the Civil Aviation Authority and 49 per cent shares of the local industrial and business community for efficient and effective operation of international flights from Faisalabad Airport and a comprehensive provision for timely lifting of air cargo.
The commissioner said that after long deliberations, it was decided that the industrialists and other participants of meeting should sit together and formulate viable proposals/suggestions for the uplift and development of the Faisalabad Airport and submit the proposals in 4–5 days so that these could be discussed in the next meeting.
The airport manager informed the meeting that presently single departure and arrival lounge was available for international and domestic operations at airport.
Parking is available for one large or two medium-szed jet aircraft, while the runway is not long enough for Boeing 777, Airbus A340, and Airbus A380 operations. Similarly, parking bays for Boeings are inadequate, he added. He said that PIA would enhance its international operation from Faisalabad Airport subject to renovation of the existing facilities and the cargo airlifting facilities would also be made available.
- One domestic and international lounge each.
- One executive lounge for premium passengers as well as a CIP lounge for diplomatic/VIP guests.
- Snack and gift shops are also available in the departure lounge as well as internet Wi-Fi facilities.
- Nose-in parking for 1 wide-body aircraft such as Airbus A310/Boeing 767 plus 2 turboprop aircraft such as ATR/F-42 aircraft at a time.
- Pakistan State Oil provide fuel services to all airlines flying out of the airport.
- Many televisions/FIDS systems located in the lounges and briefing concourses showing television programs and flight information.
- Airport Mosque located outside the airport at the far end of the car park.
- Porter services and Rent-A-Car services are available.
- Rickshaws still remain the more popular mode of transport.
Airlines and destinations
|Pakistan Aviators & Aviation||Charter :Lahore|
|Pakistan International Airlines||Karachi|
|Star Air Aviation||Karachi|
|TCS Courier||Dubai, Karachi|
The following table provides details of the major traffic flows out of Faisalabad in terms of passenger numbers, aircraft movements, cargo as well as mail. The results were collected by the Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan:
|Year||Aircraft movements||Passengers (Intl & Domestic)||Cargo handled (M. Tons)||Mail handled (M. Tons)|
|2013||3845||235450||1 760||30 670|
Incidents and accidents
- 0n 28 May 1973, A Pakistan International Airlines Fokker F-27 Friendship crashed after striking trees 800m short of the runway. All passengers and crew survived the crash, however, the aircraft was written off since it was damaged beyond repair.
Faisalabad Airport Website
- List of airports in Pakistan
- Airlines of Pakistan
- Transport in Pakistan
- Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority
- Airport information for OPFA at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.Source: DAFIF.
- Airport information for LYP at Great Circle Mapper. Source: DAFIF (effective Oct. 2006).
- Statistical Information of CAA Pakistan CAA Pakistan, assessed 08-03-2009
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