The pieces of Gwadar’s complex jigsaw continue to fall in place and the latest piece of positive news surrounds the city’s airport. It was fully expected that construction on this vital access point would begin this year and confirmation has now come through that development will officially get underway in April of this year.
It’s a huge project but with the design and work plan now approved, the process can officially begin.
The importance of Gwadar as a port city is underlined by the fact that this will be the largest airport in Pakistan when complete. The numbers involved are vast with the land expected to cover 4,300 acres and the total cost coming in at $264 million.
While the news here is definite, sources state that the Pakistani Government will ratify the announcement very shortly. When that happens, we can expect to see an exact start date and be able to count down the days to one of the most significant developments in the history of Gwadar.
Those sources go on to state:
“The provision of funds for this project would be ensured in line with the mutual agreement made between the Pakistani and the Chinese governments.”
The announcement follows on from two years of planning dating back to May 2017. It was at this stage that a grant agreement was signed and the future airport was named. The New Gwadar International Airport (NGIA), will be capable of handling huge passenger aircraft including Boeing B-737, Boeing B-747 and ATR 72.
The capacity is particularly interesting and not only does the overall area of 4,300 acres make this the biggest airport in Pakistan, it effectively dwarfs its national counterparts. By comparison, Karachi stands at 3,700 acres, Islamabad International at 3,600 and Lahore at 2,800. It’s a mega project but it’s one that is in keeping with the vast potential and progress in Gwadar as a whole.
Plans for the airport have, therefore, been in place for nearly two years and the announcement regarding construction forms part of a new Masterplan for Gwadar. Confirmed at the start of 2019 by the Pakistani government, the plans are in place to allay China’s concerns over a slowdown in vital developments across the city.
Significant financial input was also announced and the plans are now set to be turned into reality. The airport only forms one part of a huge year of development that includes a $10 billion Saudi Oil City and a $1 billion Power Plant. Interest in property in Gwadar is also accelerating in what is set to be a memorable year for this important port city.
25/02/2019 Update : A Chinese construction company has been awarded the contract to build the airport. Construction is expected to begin later next month.