ISLAMABAD, May 17 (INP): The construction of the much-awaited New Gwadar International Airport (NGIA) costing $ 230 million has entered into its second phase after meeting specific benchmarks laid down in the first phase.
According to a report carried by Gwadar Pro on Sunday, with completion of the first phase involving soil testing, ground leveling, land boundaries, design details and walls construction at adjacent properties, the second phase has been unveiled with a purpose-built mega permanent station.
Earlier there was a temporary camp office comprising limited resources and man force strength.
“Located in Gurandani area, some 26 km northeast of Gwadar city of Balochistan province just off the Makran Coastal Highway, NGIA is under construction over the last few months.
Establishment and operationalization of the permanent station is a leading step in the second phase to bolster development activities with full tilt,” China Oversees Port Holding Company (COPHC) Chairman Zhang Baozhong said.
As construction work did not suffer suspension despite the COVID-19 catastrophic devastation, he said, the second phase had been materialized as per schedule. With mobilization of civil work machinery, modern construction gears, terminal paraphernalia, manpower had been shifted into the newly constructed building, Mr. Zhang explained.
“NGIA to be completed within 3 years and set to be the second largest airport in Pakistan will connect the fast-rising Gwadar port city to the rest of world,” he claimed.
NGIA Phase II made everybody sit up and take notice when CPEC authority chairman LT- Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa, who is also serving as SAPM on Information and Broadcasting, tweeted on May 7, “Construction work on Gwadar International Airport starts, all pending issues resolved, stalled containers of machinery cleared from Gwadar Port, labour mobilised, educated on COVID-19 SOPs.
The second phase involves modern terminal and cargo buildings, communication & navigational projects, air traffic control system, runway, water supply, power supply, HVAC, parking space, residential area, schools and other facilities.
The design and construction of the new airport are in conformity with the International Civil Aviation Organization (CIAO) standards.
Being part of the Early Harvest High Priority Project of CPEC in January 2014, NGIA is free from all sorts of loan obligations and debt burden. It is being constructed on grant assistance fully funded by the Chinese government according to papers signed in May 2017.
The project is part of the overall infrastructure development of Balochistan. It would be developed as a green-field facility with all modern facilities for safe operation.
Gwadar Development Authority (GDA) official Nadir Baloch, who is also the Coordinator of Gwadar Master Plan, said that in accordance with Gwadar Master Plan, GDA had provided electricity to under-constructed airport on temporary basis. However, authority has also issued license for power plant for permanent solution.
Regarding water supply, he said correspondence was maturing for approving desalination plant. “After Eid, it is expected that desalination plant offering 1 million gallon water per day will be materialized.
Compared with other airports like Karachi Airport (3,700 acres), Islamabad International Airport (3,600 acres), Lahore Airport (2,800 acres), the Gwadar Airport will be bigger, spanning over 4,300 acres.
It will have a state of art capacity to handle a combination of ATR 72, Airbus A-380, Boeing B-737 and Boeing B-747 for domestic and international routes.