What about old airport?

THE new Islamabad International Airport (IIA) has become operational and domestic and foreign flights are operating normally from the new facility. Some problems have definitely cropped up for ordinary passengers due to non-availability of proper and trained staff and that shows mismanagement. The breaking of the conveyer belt causing agony to passengers must not have left good impression on their minds about the new airport, which is largest in the country.
It is hoped that the Civil Aviation Authority, all airlines, security agencies and the institutions providing immigration and other services would work in unison to overcome problems at the shortest possible time. Efforts should also be made to complete the Metro Bus project at the earliest to facilitate passengers who are currently at the mercy of taxi drivers. But the most important question that has arisen after completion of the new airport is fate of the old airport at Chaklala. It seems the government is abandoning the airport for all practical purpose, which would not be a wise proposition. Old airport has all the required facilities and as is done elsewhere in the world this should be reserved for domestic flights. This will reduce load at the new airport and also facilitate domestic passengers besides simultaneous landing and departure of local and international flights at the two facilities. If the old airport is left unattended and used only for VVIP movement and PAF use, then it is feared that both its buildings and runways would become useless and might prove to be a burden on the national exchequer. There are also apprehensions that the vast land around the airport might be misused for housing schemes as we are already witnessing in some areas, which were earlier vacated on the pretext of expansion of the airport. Let the old airport continue to be called ‘Benazir Bhutto Airport’ to be managed either by CAA, PIA or some other airlines on a contract basis.

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