Benazir Bhutto International Airport
Islamabad International Airport
بینظیر بھٹو بین الاقوامی ہوائی اڈا
|IATA: ISB – ICAO: OPRN|
|Airport type||Public / Military|
|Operator||Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan|
|Serves||Islamabad and Rawalpindi|
|Elevation AMSL||1,688 ft / 508 m|
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 1700 X 75 feet taxi way link adjacent to the lone runway of the airport. The renovation was completed by March, 2015.
Due to the ever-growing need for better facilities and services available for passengers, The Government of Pakistan is constructing a new airport in Islamabad. The new green field facility will be the biggest in Pakistan. The new location of the Islamabad International Airport has been selected at Fateh Jang, 30 km southwest of Islamabad city centre (Blue Area), as measured from Zero Point. The construction of the new airport is underway and completion is estimated to be in July 2017.
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 does not have the capacity for take off and landing of such aircraft as Airbus A380 or 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.
- Islamabad Gandhara International Airport
- List of airports in Pakistan
- Airlines of Pakistan
- Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority
- Transport in Pakistan
- Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority "Airport Statistics" (PDF).
- "PM names Islamabad Airport as Benazir Bhutto International Airport - GEO.tv". Retrieved 1 June 2015.
- caapakistan.com.pk – Major Traffic Flows By Airport During The Year 2008–09
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- "'Rs399m spent on renovation, expansion of Islamabad airport'". Retrieved 1 June 2015.
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- "Shaheen Air Adds Manchester Operation from mid-March 2016". airlineroute. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
- Virgin Atlantic Operates Relief Flight To Islamabad, Pakistan
- Ground breaking ceremony of new Islamabad airport likely in April, Business Recorder (Pakistan's Financial Daily Newspaper), 2005-03-03.
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- 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