ISLAMABAD-Test flights from New Gwadar International Airport are likely to be started from March 23, while the inauguration of commercial flights is being planned for September this year.
The Civil Aviation Authority has already completed the safety test of the New Gwadar International Airport and now it is ready for test flights from March 23, official source told The Nation.
Meanwhile, in a review meeting on the progress of the Gwadar Airport, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal directed the concerned authorities to complete the remaining work of the New Gwadar International Airport project as soon as possible. The meeting was attended by officials of CAA, Gwadar Port Authority and Planning Ministry. During the meeting, Ahsan Iqbal directed the concerned authorities to finalize the ground work for the inauguration of test flights from New Gwadar International Airport from March 23.
The meeting was told that the incumbent government after coming to power in April last year resumed development projects in Balochistan under CPEC which were stopped in the previous government. These projects include Iran-Pakistan transmission line, project for the welfare of Gwadar fishermen, Gwadar power supply projects, and 3000MW solar projects. The federal minister asked the concerned authorities to complete the establishment of 132 kV grade station, camp for 1050 Airport Security Force (ASF) employees and civil aviation complex in Gwadar on urgent basis. The minister also directed the authorities to start commercial flights from New Gwadar International Airport in September this year so that business activities can start in the port city. The source said that there are around 8 to 10 projects which are ready for inauguration and Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif is likely to inaugurate them within couple of months, including Gwadar airport, transmission line for the import of electricity from Iran, solar projects, grid station. etc. Meanwhile, presiding over another meeting, the minister reviewed progress on the ongoing development projects under information technology and directed that the projects that are close to completion should be completed soon.
He said that the required funds for these projects will be released during the fourth quarter of the ongoing fiscal year. Officials of the Ministry of Information Technology gave a briefing on the development projects. It has been decided in the meeting that a detailed review of these projects will be done at the end of March so that the release of the fourth quarter will be done.
The minister also directed the concerned authorities to establish their own IT Board of Gilgit-Baltistan and set up Information Technology Parks in GB. He also directed to include the name of the University of Karakoram in the IT park so that the people there can take full advantage of it. Similarly, the federal minister also issued a directive to nominate an organization to take care of cyber security in the country. The minister observed that currently, there is no cyber security plan in the country. He said that the organization should be accountable for the cyber security issues going on in the country. He said that measures should be taken on an emergency basis on cyber security. Ahsan Iqbal further instructed that meetings should be held with all stakeholders in the next 10 days on cyber security.