Benazir Bhutto International Airport
Islamabad International Airport
بینظیر بھٹو بین الاقوامی ہوائی اڈا
|Airport type||Public / Military|
|Operator||Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority|
|Serves||Islamabad and Rawalpindi|
|Elevation AMSL||508 m / 1,688 ft|
Sources: Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority
Benazir Bhutto International Airport (Urdu: بینظیر بھٹو بین الاقوامی ہوائی اڈا, IATA: ISB, ICAO: OPRN) is the third-largest airport in Pakistan, serving the capital Islamabad and its twin city Rawalpindi in the province of Punjab. Previously known as the Islamabad International Airport, it was renamed after the late Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto by the then Prime Minister of Pakistan, Yusuf Raza Gillani on 21 June 2008. The airport is actually located outside Islamabad, in the area of Chaklala, Rawalpindi. Being the main airport for the Pakistani capital it often hosts officials and citizens from other nations. The airfield is shared with the transport and liaison squadrons of the Pakistan Air Force, which refers to it as PAF Base Nur Khan.
In the fiscal year 2008–2009, over 3,136,664 passengers used Benazir Bhutto International Airport and 34,025 aircraft movements were registered. The airport serves as a hub for the flag carrier, Pakistan International Airlines. It is also the hub of Shaheen Air International and a focus city of airblue.
The government recently launched a Rs. 399 million project to renovate and expand the airport including the 518 by 23 m (1,700 by 75 ft) taxi way link adjacent to the lone runway of the airport. The renovation was completed by March, 2015.
After Expansion its called New Islamabad International Airport is an under construction international airport located in Fateh Jang, Attock District planned to serve the Islamabad Rawalpindi metropolitan area. The airport is likely to open for commercial flights in August 2017. The airport project was conceived initially in 1984 for which the acquisition of land in Attock started the same year. Constructed approximately 20 km west of the twin cities, it is being built to replace the existing Benazir Bhutto International Airport which doesn't have the capacity to handle air traffic. After repeated delays, the project is expected to be become operational by mid-2017. The airport is connected to Islamabad via the Kashmir Highway and Rawalpindi via the GT Road. A 26 km six lane highway is under-construction to further expand the connectivity of the airport. The Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metrobus is planned to be expanded to connect the Islamabad with the metropolitan area. Once completed it will be the first greenfield airport in Pakistan and the first to support the landing of Airbus A380. Build on an area of 3,289 acres, the project consists of 90 check-in counters and a parking facility for 2,000 vehicles and will cater to upward of 10 million people every year in its first phase and up to 25 million in the second phase. The terminal includes 15 gates with ten remote gates, a four-star hotel, duty-free shops, two runways, six taxiways, food court and 42 immigration counters. Its Package-1 of civil works was started on February 15, 2010 and was completed on May 14, 2014, incurring a cost of PKR 10924 million as quoted by the contractor of the project.The construction project was awarded to Habib Construction Services which is one of the largest construction companies of Pakistan and have worked on several other mega projects previously.
|Construction Cost||PKR 10924 Million|
|Client||Aviation Division, Government of Punjab|
|Contractor||Habib Construction Services Limited, Lagan, TAPL|
Benazir Bhutto International Airport is a civil and military airport which handles VIPs as well as public scheduled operations for many airlines. Foreign diplomats, high level government officials, as well as military officials are welcomed at this airport.
Currently, the airport is able to handle eleven wide body aircraft at one time, with additional five parking places for general aviation aircraft. It cannot accommodate large aircraft such as the Airbus A380 or the Boeing 747-8. At the moment, the airport does not have any air bridges installed, so buses take the passengers from the airport terminal to the aircraft where air stairs are used.
Airlines and destinations
|TCS Courier||Dubai–International, Karachi, Lahore, London–Heathrow|
|Turkish Airlines Cargo||Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Bishkek, Istanbul–Atatürk|
Accidents and incidents
- On 1 August 1948, an Onzeair Avro 691 Lancastrian XPP crash landed at the airport, due to poor adjustment by the foreign pilot and insecure cargo loads in the cabin causing the weight to alter causing the aircraft to become unbalanced. The aircraft was written off.
- On 18 May 1959, a PIA Vickers 815 Viscount skidded off the runway causing the aircraft to stop in a monsoon ditch. The aircraft suffered substantial damage; no crew or passengers were harmed in the accident.
- On 4 February 1986, a Pakistan International Airlines Boeing 747-200 Combi performed a belly landing at the airport. Apparently the crew had failed to release the landing gear on final approach. No passengers or crew were hurt and the aircraft received minor damage.
- On 15 February 2002, Erik Audé was arrested at Benazir Bhutto International Airport (then named Islamabad International Airport) for opium possession.
- During October 2005, Islamabad handled additional aircraft that provided aid for the affected people of Kashmir after the 2005 Kashmir earthquake. The largest of these aircraft was the An-225 Mriya. Virgin Atlantic Airways operated a special relief flight to Islamabad using a Boeing 747 with 55 tonnes of aid.
- On 28 July 2010, Airblue Flight 202, a domestic flight from Karachi operated by Airbus A321 AP-BJB, crashed into the Margalla Hills in Islamabad while trying to land at the airport. The aircraft crashed into mountainous and wooded terrain near the city, killing all 152 people on board.
- From 8 to 11 February 2011, there was a workers' strike at the airport against the selling of destinations to Turkish Airlines and the sacking of six Pakistan International Airlines pilots. This led to the resignation of the managing director of PIA Capt.Aijaz Haroon and caused the cancelling of many flights.
- On 20 April 2012, a Boeing 737-200 (AP-BKC), Bhoja Air Flight 213 carrying 127 people on a flight from Karachi's Jinnah International Airport destined for Islamabad's Benazir Bhutto International Airport crashed near Chaklala killing all 127 people on board. Pakistani Defence Ministry officials believe that the plane crashed into a remote residential area. There were also bad weather conditions, with lightning and rain pouring at the time of landing. Eye-witness reports say that the aircraft was already on fire on its landing approach before it crashed. Initial reports suggest that as the pilots of Bhoja Air Flight B4-213 attempted to land amidst rain and strong winds, the ill-fated aircraft might have flown into an unexpected wind shear that possibly smashed it on the ground below. The aircraft had been retired by Shaheen Air and then acquired and placed in service by Bhoja Air in March 2012.
- New Islamabad International Airport
- List of airports in Pakistan
- Airlines of Pakistan
- Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority
- Transport in Pakistan
- "PM names Islamabad Airport as Benazir Bhutto International Airport - GEO.tv". Archived from the original on 15 July 2015. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
- caapakistan.com.pk – Major Traffic Flows By Airport During The Year 2008–09
- Iftikhar A. Khan. "Islamabad airport set to get a new look". Retrieved 1 June 2015.
- "'Rs399m spent on renovation, expansion of Islamabad airport'". Retrieved 1 June 2015.
- "Plea against Civil Aviation boss: Airport won't be ready before April 2015, says CAA". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
- "Shaheen Air ends Manchester service in mid Feb 2017". Airlineroute. 3 February 2017. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
- Virgin Atlantic Operates Relief Flight To Islamabad, Pakistan[permanent dead link]
- Ground breaking ceremony of new Islamabad airport likely in April, Business Recorder (Pakistan's Financial Daily Newspaper), 2005-03-03.
- CAA initiates $300m new Islamabad airport (NIIA), Pakistan Link Headline News, 2006-01-07.
- CAA initiates $300m new Islamabad airport project, The News Business Section, 2006-01-07.
- New Islamabad International Airport ready for ground breaking Ceremony, PakTribune, 2006-02-07.
- Turkish Airlines wants to operate daily flights to Karachi, The News, 2007-07-10.
- Progress in THY's Pakistan flights, Turkish Daily News, 2007-07-19.
Media related to Benazir Bhutto International Airport at Wikimedia Commons