ISLAMABAD-The Government of Pakistan has allocated Rs5 billion for the construction and completion of the New Gwadar International Airport (NGIA) in Balochistan province. Under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2023-24, the government has set aside Rs5 billion for the NGIA, which will prove vital for the air traffic in and out of the strategic port city of Gwadar.

The government is also planning to build a new airport in Mansehra district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which lies at the most important strategic route of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The government has allocated an initial sum of Rs50 million for the starting phases of the airport. The funds will be spent on the establishment of basic aerodrome facilities and the acquisition of land for construction of the airport.

The government has also decided to establish comfortable accommodation facilities for the officers and ladies of the Airport Security Force (ASF) at various airports of the country. They include Gilgit airport with a total allocation of Rs50 million, Faisalabad airport with an allocation of Rs20 million, and Turbat airport with a total sum of Rs60 million.

The academies of the ASF in Karachi will also get a revamping as the government has decided to spend Rs160 million on their upgradation.
Another important decision taken by the government is to set up a ‘meteorological observatory’ in the scenic valley of Kaghan in Mansehra district to collect data about weather patterns and climatic vagaries.

The total funds allocated for the project are Rs50 million, which also include fund for the construction of a hostel for operational staff at Balakot.
Similarly, weather surveillance radars will also be set up in Sukkur city of Sindh province and Multan city of Punjab province with a total allocation of Rs60 million to collect data on weather from different parts of the country.

In total, the government has allocated Rs5.34 billion for the ongoing schemes in the Aviation Division of the country and Rs110 million for the initiation of new schemes.

The total allocation for Aviation Division in the PSDP 2023-24 amounts to Rs5.45 billion, which indicates the government’s active efforts to improve the status of air travel in Pakistan. The completion of the NGIA will give a much-needed boost to investment and economic activity in Balochistan province as people will be able to freely move in and out of the strategic port city. Similarly, better and latest weather data collected from state-of-art meteorological facilities will help to keep air travel smooth and safe. Construction of the new airport in Mansehra will add more thrust to the tourism industry of the country up north.

Air travel represents one of the most exquisite forms of communication in the modern hyper-entrepreneurial economies. Essential and healthy air travel facilities increase the country’s access to the liquid capital that circulates in the world for optimal allocation.