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It took 14 years to just break the ground for New Gwadar International Airport, how many more till it’s completed?

Prime Minister Imran Khan performing the groundbreaking of New Gwadar International Airport on Friday 29th March 2019 at Gwadar port.
Prime Minister Imran Khan broke the ground for New Gwadar International Airport in a simple ceremony in Gwadar. The airport that started from a similar ceremony on 19 August 2005 has come a long way to this stage. It was prime minister Shawkat Aziz who instructed Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority to start this project. This will be the second greenfield airport in Pakistan.

Prime Minister Imran Khan broke the ground for New Gwadar International Airport in a simple ceremony in Gwadar. The airport that started from a similar ceremony on 19 August 2005 has come long way to this stage. It was prime minister Shawkat Aziz who instructed Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority to start this project. This will be second greenfield airport in Pakistan.

After 14 years 7 months and some day we have the ground breaking ceremony but no idea about the completion of the project. As no one bothered to tell media about the plan for this airport. The airport was included among Early Harvest High Priority Project of China Pakistan Economic Corridor in January 2014. The Chinese government would assist Pakistan for construction of the airport under Chinese Grant Assistance.

The airport is located 26 km in North East of current airport and the government has procured 3000 acres of land for this airport. Although in some reports the land is said to be 4300 acres. If the claim that it is the biggest airport in Pakistan is true then it is not the 3000 acres figure that will stand right.

Location of the New Gwadar Airport on the map in the North East of the airport around 26 km from current airport.
Location of the New Gwadar Airport on the map.

Deadlines

1st: ON 25 January 2007 the minister for interior Zafar Iqbal Warraich told Senate that airport will be completed in two years. But he did not mention when the work at the airport will start.
2nd: On 28 February 2008 the caretaker minister of defence Saleem Abbas Jillani said that the airport will be complete by August 2010.
3rd: The PPP minister of defence Chaudhary Ahmed Mukhtar told the national assembly that the airport will be completed in June 2012 and according to one report it will be completed in December 2011.
4th: On 13 January 2010 PPP’s Prime minister instructed the CAA to complete the airport within three years. During this meeting, it was revealed that the airport will be able to handle 350,000 passengers until 2020.
5th: ON 22 November 2011 Associated Press of Pakistan reported that the airport that was supposed to be completed by the end of 2013 will now be completed by December 2014.
6th: In September 2015 a new deadline was given for the completion of this project and the new deadline was December 2017.
7th: On 22 November 2017 a new deadline emerged and it was said that the airport will be completed in 2019 or early 2020.

This new airport is being built China Harbour Engineering Company.
The terminal building design for the new International Airport.

Dealines for start of project

1st: On 6 March 2017 the Federal minister for planning said that the foundation stone for this airport will be laid very soon.
2nd: On 15 June 2017 it was announced that in September work will start on this project. Later prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said during his visit to Gwadar on 22 November that the work for this airport will start soon.
3rd: In December 2017 it was announced that work on this project will start in March 2018, but eventually it happened on 29th March 2019.

A concept design for the new airport for Gwadar.

Cost

On 7 November 2006, the government of Pakistan awarded the contract to Chinese company China Harbour Engineering Company. However, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) would be responsible for design review and supervision of the project, ensuring that the new airport is built as per best international practices, sources said. In the beginning, the cost of the airport was $70 million and it was planned as a cargo airport primarily.

The cost associated with this project right from the beginning is 6.5 billion rupees. During the past 14 plus years, various governments released various amounts for this project. In US dollars the cost is told between 200 to 250 million. In December 2009 it was announced that Omani government will give 17.5 million for this project.

But in October 2014 APP report said that the government has already spent 803 million rupees on this project and the total cost has reached 7.7 billion rupees. Same year the Nawaz Sharif government instructed Aviation Division to ensure that wide body jets can land at this airport. And then Chinese government converted the 230 million dollar loan into grant that was assigned for the construction of this airport.

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