After years of delays, Pakistan's New Islamabad International Airport became operational in the capital city of Islamabad on Thursday.
Spokesperson of Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA), Pervez George told a local news channel that the new airport facility became fully operational from Thursday with the arrival and the departure of a number of domestic as well as international flights as per the schedule.
The New Islamabad International Airport was initially due to become operational in 2013 but the Pakistani government failed to complete the project in the stipulated time.
After completion, the new airport is set to cater to over nine million passengers and handle 50,000 metric tons of cargo annually as Pakistan is set to become a regional trade and business hub in the backdrop of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The local authorities are expecting a huge influx of Chinese as well as foreign investors and tourists in the country which is set to not only help the local economy grow at a faster pace but also negate the threat of terrorism in the country.
Pakistan's Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi inaugurated the New Islamabad International Airport on Tuesday. The PIA's flight PK-300 carrying 150 passengers became the first flight to land at the new airport, while another PIA flight took off from the New Islamabad International Airport for Karachi at 12:30 p.m. local time the same day.
The New Islamabad International Airport is Pakistan's first Greenfield international airport, which is situated around 30 km away from the Federal Capital.