New Gwadar International Airport: Pakistan's 2nd Greenfield Class 4F Airport Nearing Completion
The architecture of the New Gwadar International Airport (NGIA) is inspired by a rising Phoenix. It is Pakistan's second greenfield airport built from scratch in a new location. With a 3,650-meter long runway, it is a Class 4F airport. NGIA is scheduled to begin test flights in December this year. The only other airport with a 3,600-meter long runway is the New Islamabad International Airport that opened for commercial flights in 2018. Karachi and Lahore international airports have runways lengths of 3,400 meters and 3,360 meters respectively, putting them in 4E class. All four of these major Pakistani airports can handle landing of Airbus A380, the largest commercial airliner in operation today.
|New Gwadar International Airport Architecture Inspired by A Rising Phoenix|
New Gwadar International Airport (NGIA) is being built in Gwadar at a cost of $246 million on an area of 4,300 acres. Construction of NGIA started in October, 2019. The entire project is being built by the state-owned China Airport Construction Company funded by a Chinese government grant. It was originally scheduled for completion in 36 months. The work was slightly delayed due to the COVID19 pandemic. It is now expected to be ready for trial flights in December, 2022.
|New Gwadar International Airport, Gwadar, Pakistan|
NGIA is part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects. Another key CPEC project recently completed in Gwadar is the 19-kilometer long six-lane East Bay Expressway. It was opened for traffic on June 3, 2022. East Bay Expressway connects to the Makran Coastal Highway which in turn is connected to the larger network of motorways and highways in the country as well as to China and the landlocked nations of Central Asia in CAREC.
|East Bay Expressway, Gwadar, Pakistan|
The completion of New Gwadar International Airport and East Bay Expressway is an indication that the Western and Indian media headlines about the death of CPEC are not credible. To the contrary, the continuing progress on CPEC projects confirms the strong commitment of both the Chinese and the Pakistan government to move forward with their broad-based cooperation. Just yesterday, Pakistan's new Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif reaffirmed that his government is determined to complete all the projects under the multi-billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Earlier, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian said China would continue to support its companies in investing and operating in Pakistan to realize win-win results and shared development.