President Dr Arif Alvi Wednesday said that the construction of new airports would help boost the country’s exports as well as tourism sectors.
In a meeting with a delegation of the management of Sialkot International Airport headed by Chairman Mian Naeem Javed, the president appreciated Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry on construction of the airport.
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Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Secretary Aviation Shaukat Ali and director general Civil Aviation Authority attended the meeting, a President House press release said.
The president viewed that Sialkot Airport was the first facility of its nature not only in Pakistan but also the region.
He told the delegation that the government was alive to the adverse impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector; however, the government extended maximum possible support to the business community during the pandemic.
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The president also appreciated the remarkable welfare activities of the Sialkot traders’ community under their Corporate Social Responsibility.
The Sialkot International Airport is a major export hub of Pakistan with a runway that is 3,600-metres long, and 45-metres wide with 7.5-metre wide shoulders on either side corresponding to International Civil Aviation Organisation Category 4E.
There are plans to further expand and upgrade the airport’s apron to make it compatible to carry the load of ten Boeing 747s or A340s.
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Pakistan has three primary international airports; the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, the Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore and the Islamabad International Airport.
In addition to the primary international airports, Pakistan has an additional nine secondary international airports in Dera Ghazi Khan, Faisalabad, Gwadar, Multan, Peshawar, Quetta, Rahim Yar Khan, Turbat and Sialkot.
All civil airports in Pakistan are operated under the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority except the Sialkot International Airport as it is the only privately owned and administered airport in not just Pakistan but the entire South Asian region.