New Islamabad airport becomes operational

ISLAMABAD: Flights from a new, modern airport in the Pakistani capital Islamabad began on Thursday, decades after the project was first conceived in 1980s.
“We are operating from the new airport today. It is a great facility,” Civil Aviation Authority spokesman Pervez George said.
The first international flight took off for the Saudi city of Jeddah, the authority said on its website.
Operations started two days after Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi ceremonially inaugurated the airport, which is around 20 km from central Islamabad.
The construction of the Y-shaped airport started almost a decade ago and it missed several completion deadlines, the latest one last month.
Until now, there has been no international airport in the Pakistani capital. An air-force base with a single runway was used for domestic and international air travel.
The new airport spans 1,740 hectares of land and will be able to handle the world’s biggest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380. — dpa