MULTAN–Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Monday inaugurated the international terminal at the Multan airport, a state of the art facility to avail direct international flights and to give impetus to trade and business activities for the people of South Punjab.
The prime minister unveiled the plaque to open the upgraded air travelling facility completed at a cost of over Rs 9 billion to help boost export of world’s best aromatic Pakistani mangoes to lucrative foreign markets besides fruits, vegetables textiles, cotton and a variety of other products.
During the inauguration ceremony, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the nation should be united on terrorism and progress, emphasising that even if government’s change work on development projects should continue.
Work on the international terminal was started during the tenure of former Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani in June 2010. The project was completed in two phases. In the first phase air side facilities including runway taxiway tracks and apron were upgraded with Rs 2.09 billion.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif welcomed former Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani who was specially invited for the event as he was the one who had laid the foundation stone of the new Multan airport.
He said the credit for initiating the project goes to the former prime minister and this was the way things should move where one government initiates the project while the next completes it.
He said Multan being a major agricultural and industrial centre would greatly benefit from direct air linkage with the rest of the world and have positive impact on the national economy.
Prime Minister Sharif said special mango Flights from Multan would bring the sweetness of local mangoes to people across the world. He said similarly textiles, handicrafts and other industries would directly benefit from the facility.
Prime Minister Sharif appreciated the quality of work of the airport and termed it one of the best in the country. He however directed to ensure its maintenance so that the people do not face any difficulty.
He said people of Multan will soon begin to reap the benefits of the new modern linkage that would provide them a fast and modern travelling facility.
The runway of the international terminal is 10,500 feet (900 feet overrun on both sides) while width is 150 feet (25 feet shoulders on each side). The runway can accommodate the requirement of aircraft Boeing 747, 777 and the apron was designed to cater to two wide bodied and 2 narrow bodied aircrafts with an area of 36,356 square metres (sqm).
In the second phase the new terminal building and allied facilities were completed with Rs 7.036 billion approved in October 2014. The covered area of the terminal is 30,700 sqm and has composite steel structure with double halls.
The international terminal has four bridges for passengers boarding out of whom two were completed while another two were under construction which would be built by May this year.
The new car parking has been constructed to cater about 400 vehicles.
Officials said that in and out cargo would be 10,000 metric tonnes per year which may increase by 30,000 metric tonnes per year with the passage of time.
Special emphasis has been laid to ensure security in and around the airport.
The new airport has the capacity to handle one million passengers per annum as compared to 0.1 mln passengers at old airport.
Federal Minister for National Food Security Sikandar Bosan, Minister of State for Water and Power Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali , PM’s special assistant on Aviation Shujaat Azeem former Premier Syed Yusuf Raza Gillani besides senior officials attended the ceremony.
The 68th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China.
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily