Allama Iqbal International Airport
Allama Iqbal International Airport
علامہ اقبال بین الاقوامی ہوائی اڈا
|Operator||Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority|
|Location||Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan|
|Elevation AMSL||698 ft / 213 m|
Location of airport in Lahore
Allama Iqbal International Airport (Urdu: علامہ اقبال بین الاقوامی ہوائی اڈا) (IATA: LHE, ICAO: OPLA) is the third largest civil airport by traffic in Pakistan, serving Lahore, the capital of Punjab province as well a large portion of the travellers from the Punjab province. Originally known as Lahore International Airport, it was renamed after Allama Iqbal, one of the pioneers that led to the creation of Pakistan.
The airport currently has three terminals: the Allama Iqbal terminal, the Hajj terminal and a cargo terminal. The airport is located about 15 km from the centre of the city. Expansion work of airport started in 2018, it will increase terminal, car parking space and passenger capacity to 25 million.
At the time of the Independence of Pakistan, Walton Airport was the main airport of Lahore. When Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) acquired its first Boeing 720 Walton was unable to handle the load of a jet aircraft. The Government of Pakistan decided to build a brand new airport, which opened in 1962. The airport had a specifically built runway and apron to handle aircraft up to the Boeing 747. This allowed Lahore to open its gates to the world. PIA initiated direct flights to Dubai and London via Karachi.
Over the course of the next twenty five years the demand for air travel rose. It meant that the government had to build a bigger terminal to meet the growing needs of the region. In March 2003, a new terminal was inaugurated by President General Pervez Musharraf originally commissioned by then ex prime minister Nawaz Sharif. The airport was named Allama Iqbal International Airport and became the second largest airport in Pakistan after Jinnah International Airport in Karachi. All flights were switched to the new airport and the old airport was passed onto the military. However, the government later reclaimed the airport from the military and developed it into a Hajj terminal.
The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority awarded the main contract to Airsys ATM, leader of a consortium with J&P Overseas Ltd, an international building and civil engineering contractor. Airsys ATM is a joint project from Thomson-CSF Airsys and Siemens, dedicated to air traffic management systems and airport development. The Airports Group in the UK was also awarded a $70m contract for airport systems construction. The project was implemented by a consortium of Joannou & Paraskevaides (J&P), responsible for civil and building works, and the Airports Group, responsible for the systems implementation. Airsys ATM and Thales ATM were responsible for the fabrication and installation of the air bridges at the new terminal.
In 2008, the national flag carrier of the UAE, Etihad Airways, opened a dedicated aircraft line maintenance facility in Lahore. The facility is equipped with the latest technology and equipment, which will be used for all day-to-day technical line maintenance on Etihad aircraft including hydraulic structural and instrument checks.
Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) has planned the expansion of terminal building and number of hangers will be increased from 7 to 22. This will increase the annual passenger capacity of Lahore Airport from 6 million to 20 million which will be sufficient to cater the passenger load for next 15 to 20 years.
The new design of Lahore Airport Expansion Project has inspiration from the national flower of Pakistan, Jasmine or locally known as "Chambeli". Airport will have 4 arms similar to 4 platters of Jasmine flower. Original building has Mughal architectural features but new airport will have blend of Spanish and Mughal Architecture.
Hangers in the main terminal building will be increased from seven to twenty two. The present terminal building will not be demolished but will be expanded. The current parking area will be converted to arrival and departure lounges. Square lawn in front of airport will be converted to round shape 3 storey car parking area. It will be ensured that car parking space is sufficient to serve in the peak hours.
The design of the airport was developed by GilBartolomé Architects from Spain, following a contract awarded to international Spanish Firm, TYSPA International, which firm also worked on expanding the Madrid and São Paulo Airports. A Chinese firm, the China Construction Third Engineering Bureau, has been awarded the contract, worth $382 million (2.6 billion RMB), to carry out the construction work. During the expansion of the airport, nearby road networks will also be improved, which will help to ease traffic congestion on the roads leading to Lahore Airport.
- Separate domestic & international departure lounges. (Capacity 1,200 passengers each).
- Separate men's and women's prayer rooms in both domestic & international lounges.
- One business class lounge (international departures).
- PTCL & Card-operated telephones (PCOs) are available within the lounges.
- Several duty-free shops including food and drink counters.
- Free internet Wi-Fi access.
- The Elbow Room (Coffee & Bakery snacks)
- Traditional Pakistani Sweets counters
- The Club Lounge (Premium Lounge Facility)
- 7 air bridges with PSS & APSS facilities.
- 23 remote parking stands.
- Two parallel runways one concrete the other asphalt.
- Runway 36R/18L: 3,360 meters long, 46 meters wide. Max capacity: Boeing 747.
- Runway 36L/18R: 2,743 meters long, 46 meters wide. Max capacity: Boeing 747.
- Parallel taxi way for rapid entry/exit.
- Instrument Landing System Category-II. ILS CAT-III on RWY 36R.
- Navigational Aids: DVOR/DME/TDME, NDB, OM, MM
- Airport Services
- Pakistan State Oil provide fuel services to all airlines flying out of the airport. (Jet A-100)
- Fire fighting and Rescue Services. Category: 9
- FIDS systems located in the lounges and briefing concourses showing television programmes and flight information.
- Airport Mosque located outside the airport left hand side of the terminal building.
- CAA Porter services and Metro cab services are available.
- Custom and Immigration for international flights.
- Cargo and luggage wrapping services.
- Passenger assistance services (upon request).
- ATMs provided by MCB and Habib Bank Limited. The MCB ATM is linked to MasterCard; the Habib Bank is linked to VISA. Both are linked to China UnionPay and to the domestic 1LINK and MNET switches.
- Nirala Sweets and Dunkin Donuts counters located landside of terminal.
- Ground Handling Agents
- Pakistan International Airlines.
- Shaheen Airport Services (SAPS).
- Royal Airport Services (RAS).
- Gerry's Dnata Ground Handling & Cargo.
- Airfield Restrictions: None
Airlines and destinations
Allama Iqbal International Airport connects Lahore with many cities worldwide (including domestic destinations) by both passenger and cargo flights.
| DHL Aviation|
operated by DHL International Aviation ME
|Abu Dhabi, Bagram, Bahrain|
|Maximus Air Cargo||Abu Dhabi, Dubai–International|
|MNG Airlines||Abu Dhabi, Kabul|
|Qatar Airways Cargo||Doha|
|TCS Couriers||Dubai–International, Islamabad, Karachi|
The following table provides details of the major traffic flows out of Lahore in terms of passenger numbers, aircraft movements, cargo and 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)|
Awards and recognitions
- Allama Iqbal International Airport was ranked the world's leading airport by Singapore Airlines in service performance in 2006.
- List of airports in Pakistan
- Airlines of Pakistan
- Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority
- Shaheen Airport Services
- Transport in Pakistan
- Airport information for OPLA at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.Source: DAFIF.
- Airport information for LHE at Great Circle Mapper. Source: DAFIF (effective October 2006).
- Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority "Airport Statistics" (PDF).
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- "TYPSA designs the new Lahore airport in Pakistan - TYPSA". TYPSA::Consulting Engineers and Architects. 21 September 2016. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
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- DHL and Etihad Cargo increase connectivity through the Middle East Archived 5 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine
- Statistical Information of CAA Pakistan Archived 19 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine CAA Pakistan, assessed 8 March 2009
- "Allama Iqbal International Airport Tops In Services - History of PIA - Forum". Historyofpia.com. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
Media related to Allama Iqbal International Airport at Wikimedia Commons