Monday, 13 February 2012

Faisalabad Airport critics and need of Improvement

Faisalabad Airport have never been considered as one of the major airports in Pakistan.There are several factors behind this thing.Faisalabad is the Manchester City of Pakistan and it is a major export generator for Pakistan, many have criticised why the airport has not been developed into a large cargo hub to meet international growth and improve the city's economy.
Faisalabad Airport needs Improvement
Faisalabad Airport needs Improvement

The airport is expected to be upgraded to make it compatible to meet the growth of future flights and cargo operations. It is a fact that CAA plans to upgrade facilities at Faisalabad Airport. The proposal includes up-gradation of Apron and Taxiway for operations by wide body aircraft. Both up-gradation works is planned during the current financial year for which Rs. 100 million has been catered for in the Annual Development Programme. Direct Hajj flights from Faisalabad and shifting back of PIA offices from airport to city as well as appointment of PIA district manager office are being carried out on immediate basis. This assurance was given to Rana Arif Tauseef, newly elected Chairman Pakistan Textile Exporters Association by Secretary Defence Lt-Gen (r) Syed Athar Ali during a meeting at Islamabad. Rana Asif Tauseef, Minister of state for privatization and Rana Zahid Tauseef, former district Nazim Faisalabad also participated in the meeting. Talking to newsmen after his return from Islamabad here, Rana Arif Tauseef stated that he had apprised the secretary defence of the difficulties being faced by the pilgrims from Faisalabad and surrounding areas. He said that in the absence of direct flight, the intending pilgrims have either to rout their travel towards Karachi and Jeddah onward or have to travel by road to reach Lahore airport for onward travel. This circumlocutory travel becomes unbearable for the old age and weak pilgrims and also involved 12 to 14 hours travel time instead of direct flight time of 5 hours. In view of this cumbersome exercise starting direct hajj flights from Faisalabad has become imperative, he said.He also apprised the Secretary Defence that PTEA had financially assisted the civil aviation in upgrading the Faisalabad airport for international flights. However due to some unknown reasons the dream of international flights has remained unfulfilled. He emphasized that Faisalabad was third biggest city of the country and a textile centre of international repute and export originating destination. Large number of foreign buyers visits Faisalabad while the local exporters frequently travel to Europe and the US and have succeeded in exporting textile worth $4 billion annually. He further stated that all over the world, businessmen are resorting to air routes for faster transportation of their export goods instead of the sea routes. While the Faisalabad exporters are constrained to export through sea rout in the absence of air cargo export facility. PTEA Chairman also demanded shifting back of PIA offices from airport to city which had been shifted to airport in the after math bomb blast March last. He also demanded appointment of full fledged district manager PIA which seat is lying vacant since long. As a result of which the travel business is heavily suffering and Faisalabad citizens are diverting towards Lahore and Karachi. Secretary Defence assured the chairman that all these difficulties would be removed in near future

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