Gwadar: The construction of the New Gwadar International Airport recently entered in its second phase. This project, a major CPEC initiative, is worth USD 230 million, and its first phase was recently declared ‘completed’ after the development authorities concerned had met a certain set of benchmarks.
The first phase involved soil testing, land boundaries, ground leveling, design details and the construction of walls with adjoining properties. The authorities launched the second phase by unveiling a permanent purpose-built mega station on the site. Reportedly, the second phase includes the development of a runway, water supply, power supply, air conditioning, an air traffic control system, modern terminal and cargo buildings, communication and navigation projects, parking areas, schools, residential area, and other facilities.
China Overseas Port Holding Company Chairman (COPHC) Zhang Baozhong lauded the progress of the project so far, and stated that the establishment of a permanent station at the site was a leading step in bolstering trade activities in the province. He added that the COVID-19 pandemic had not effected the pace of construction work on the project. Zhang explained that this was due to the authorities’ decision to mobilize civil work machinery, terminal paraphernalia, and modern construction equipment in order to shift their workforce to a new building.
Furthermore, the chairman revealed that the airport was expected to be completed within three years and would be the second-largest airport in Pakistan. As per the information available, the design and plans for the Gwadar International Airport are in line with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (CIAO) standards, and it is also a debt-free project due to its status as an ‘Early Harvest High Priority Project’ of CPEC.