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Gwadar Airport construction to be completed in 3 years at a cost of 256 million dollars
Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, has performed the ground-breaking of the new Gwadar International Airport, being established under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The project is worth $256 million, being operated under a Chinese government grant, and will be completed in three years. The airport is the largest in terms of area in Pakistan at 4300 acres, and will be able to cater for the world’s largest passenger airliner, the A-380.

Dubai: The new Gwadar International Airport will be the second facility in Pakistan to cater to big aircraft, including the world’s largest passenger airliner, the Airbus A380.

Currently, only Islamabad International Airport, which opened last year, can cater to the A380. Other big airports, including the ones in Lahore and Karachi, are not equipped to handle this behemoth.

The new Gwadar airport will have the international status and it will be run under an “Open Skies” policy.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan performed the ground-breaking ceremony for the new Gwadar International Airport on Friday.

“What a pleasure it is to be in Gwadar. In the coming months, years, Gwadar would be, I see, as engine of growth for Pakistan,” Imran said while addressing at the ground breaking ceremony in Gwadar, in the country’s southwest, on the Indian Ocean coast.

Three-years construction plan

The construction of the airport will be completed within three years at the cost of US$256million.

Unlike other projects under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) are operating under concessional loans, the Airport is planned under a Chinese grant.

The airport will also be the biggest in Pakistan at an area of 4,300 acres.

It will be the biggest airport of Pakistan. In comparison to other airports like Karachi Airport (3,700 acres), Islamabad International Airport (3,600 acres), Lahore Airport (2,800 acres), the Gwadar Airport will be built on 4,300 acres.

The airport is one of several development projects in Gwadar worth $690 million which the Chinese government is financing as part of its Belt and Road Initiative.

The ground breaking ceremony of the airport was also attended by Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing besides a large number of ministers, officials and Chinese workers, according to APP, the official news agency of Pakistan.

China’s grant for the airport

The Chinese government would assist Pakistan for construction of the airport under Chinese Grant Assistance.

The project is part of overall infrastructure development of Balochistan. It would be developed as a green-field facility with all modern facilities for safe operation.

The project would comprise a modern terminal building with cargo terminal having initial handling capacity of 30,000 tons per year.

On this occasion, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed for construction of Pakistan and China Vocational Training Institute and Pak-China Friendship Hospital.

Prime Minister Imran thanked the Chinese Ambassador for the grant given by the Chinese government for the airport.

Benefits to local people

He categorically said any development would be of no use unless it benefited the local people.

He said in the past, the locals were ignored while executing the development projects in Balochistan. He said gas worth billions of rupees was extracted from Sui but it could not change the living standard of the local people.

He said it was pleasing that the capacity of the hospital in Gwadar would be enhanced and a vocational training institute would also help create employment opportunities.

Prime Minister Imran announced to launch Insaf Sehat Card (health card) to provide health insurance cover worth Rs720,000 to every family.

He said previously power was being transmitted from Iran, but now the government had decided to link the area with national grid.

Desalination plant

A desalination plant would also be set up in the city and under Clean and Green Pakistan, one million saplings would be planted. Besides, a solid waste management system would also be established to protect the area from pollution.

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