ISLAMABAD: Advisor to Prime Minister on Aviation, Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan on Monday expressed the hope that the new Islamabad International Airport would be made operational in the first quarter of 2018.
Talking to the media after inaugurating a two-day meeting of Civil Aviation of the Developing-8 (D-8) Organization Directors General and the expert working group here at a local hotel, he said the development work on the airport was at the final stages and it would be completed in the first quarter of the next year.
Sardar Mehtab said that the work on Gwadar airport would commence in September, next year. He added that significant development was being made in the aviation sector of the country and that the latest radar technology was being introduced. The authority, he said was taking steps to equip important airports of the country with the latest navigation and airport systems to fulfil the promise of revamping the overall aviation system made by the present government.
“We are moving fast for a complete revamping of our air navigation system, up-gradation, the extension of civil airports and acquisition of state-of-the-art security equipment”, he said.
He told the press that radars with enhanced coverage had already been installed along with ADS-B systems. “The work is in progress at Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Faisalabad airports where the expansion, as well as latest aviation system, would be in place shortly,” he said.
He said that besides replacing the present radar system, the authority was also focusing on other facilities like boarding bridges, roads infrastructure, parking, lounges, and training facilities. These steps will facilitate passengers as well as air traffic operations.
He said during the past few years Turkey had made tremendous progress in the aviation sector, while Iran was also moving forward in that area. He further told the press that he had proposed more cooperation and experience sharing among the D-8 countries in the aviation sector.
Sardar Mehtab said that Pakistan was also making positive progress in the aviation sector; however, it would have to pay more attention to its human resource and take steps for its development. He said that Pakistan’s defence production was very good and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex’s contributions were commendable.
To a question, he replied that steps were being taken to ensure flight safety and the security of passengers.
To another query, he answered that the Aviation Policy 2015 was a forward-looking policy as it also encouraged private sector a lot.