Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan is the entry point of not only diplomats and foreign representatives but also a great number of tourists. However, the capital city did not have a dedicated airport until recent years. A portion of the Chaklala airbase was used to provide air travel facilities to foreigners and residents of not only Islamabad but also Rawalpindi and the surrounding Potohar region.
Several structural and design changes were made to Chaklala in order to accommodate the growing number of passengers. As the number of domestic and international travellers rose, the small terminal became insufficient to handle the load.
In 2007, the former prime minister of Pakistan, Mr Shaukat Aziz, laid the foundation stone of Islamabad International Airport (IIAP) and, in 2018, the airport was opened for domestic and international flights. The International Air Transport Association granted the code (ICAO: OPIS) to the new airport.
The new Islamabad International Airport is equipped with cutting-edge facilities and, as a result, available resources and infrastructure are being utilised to assist air travellers with the least amount of inconvenience.
Graana.com, Pakistan’s first online real estate marketplace, takes an in-depth look at the facilities available at this airport.
The Airport at a Glimpse
- IIAP covers an area of 19 square kilometres.
- The airport has two 3600-metre-long runways.
- The airport features seven check-in zones with a total of 112 check-in desks.
- Five-level security systems for baggage check, a food court, a movie theatre, and a children’s play area
- It has 15 passenger boarding bridges, two of which are capable of connecting to the double-decker A-380, the world’s largest jet.
- The airport also has 15 remote bays for passengers and 3 remote bays for air cargo.
- In order to avoid passenger mixing, the same number of lounges have been erected for each of the 15 bays.
- As the capital airport, the airport is increasingly hosting V-VIPs, VIPs, international delegates, and business communities.
- Islamabad International Airport can handle 9 million passengers and tonnes of freight every year.
- Parking space can accommodate 2,200 vehicles. Aside from the public parking, an airport employee parking lot has also been constructed.
- To help passengers, five conveyor belts for international arrivals and three for domestic arrivals have been built.
Design of the Airport
Aéroports de Paris Ingénierie, or ADPI for short, designed the infrastructure of Islamabad International Airport. The terminal building, on the other hand, was designed by a Singaporean firm, CPG Corporation.
Bringing on these engineering firms for the project yielded major dividends, with the design being environmentally friendly and sustainable. The terminal building, in particular, makes use of daylight as its principal source of light, with sun shading technology that helps reduce cooling expenses. A water-saving system is also installed on the roof.
After the project was completed, the project management was passed over to the Louis Berger Group, which is based in the United States.
Facilities at the Airport
Islamabad International Airport has the latest facilities for its passengers, as listed below:
Care of Old and Disabled Citizens
Facilities for senior and disabled citizens are available at the airport and are identified with the standard International Sinology. Passengers with such requirements are required to communicate their disability to the airlines in advance. They can contact the appropriate airlines for wheelchair service at their designated counters in the Arrival and Departure Halls/Concourse Halls.
There is also a fast track for arriving/departing formalities, a ramp for those using wheelchairs, and dedicated parking for disabled people.
Approximately 2200 baggage trolleys are available for the passengers at the Islamabad International Airport. These trolleys are available at designated places on a complimentary basis along the drop lane and in front of briefing areas.
Passenger Facilitation Service (PFS) provides round-the-clock service known as “Passenger Porter Services”. You can hire a porter at the Porter Service Desk to assist you with your luggage till it is checked in. This is an option available to all travellers, but it is especially suggested for those carrying large or excess baggage.
Porters can also pick your bags from baggage claim and bring them to the building’s exit for arriving passengers. Passengers are advised to hire porters wearing the official uniform and pay the porters only once. Following are the rates for domestic and international travellers:
Domestic travellers are required to pay Rs. 200 to the porter.
International travellers are required to pay Rs. 400 to the porter.
Banks at the Airport
Fully functioning branches of the following banks are available in the banking square near the car parking:
- Muslim Commercial Bank (MCB)
- Habib Bank Limited (HBL)
- Allied Bank Limited
- National Bank of Pakistan (NBP)
- United Bank Limited (UBL)
- Bank Al-Habib Limited
ATM & Currency Exchange
There are three ATMs in the Passenger terminal building, two of which are located on Level 2 of the visitor’s gallery while the third one is located on Level 3 of International Departures.
Islamabad International Airport provides multiple exchange bureaus in all terminals, as you would expect from a big airport linking all corners of the globe. Furthermore, you can reserve today’s rate and collect it as soon as you arrive at the airport.
- Muhammadi Exchange
- Royal International Exchange
- National Bank of Pakistan Exchange
Other Facilities at the Islamabad International Airport
- During long layovers, special Hotel Reservation Counters can assist you in booking a stay in one of the city’s best hotels.
- Numerous restaurants, stores, and duty-free zones offer shopping opportunities.
- CIP Airlines Lounge is available to domestic and international first/business class passengers for a cost of Rs. 500 per person (domestic) and USD 15 per person (international).
- After registering your Pakistani or international phone number, you will get access to free public Wi-Fi.
- Golf Cart Car Service is available inside domestic and international arrival and departure lounges.
- There are free mobile charging stations in the departure halls.
- In the lounges, there are prayer rooms for both men and women.
- Car Rental Counters for well-known rental firms
- All lounges have enclosed smoking areas.
- Baggage wrapping service is available for both domestic and international travellers at a fee of Rs. 50 per bag.
Security at the Airport
The Airport Security Force (ASF) is part of the Ministry of Defence and is in charge of securing airports, infrastructure, and flights (on-ground or in-air). ASF protects the civil aviation industry in Pakistan by implementing counter-terrorism measures, combating crime, and ensuring law and order inside airport boundaries.
The airport’s entry points are all subject to a body and vehicle search. As a result, all visitors are asked to cooperate with the ASF officers stationed at the entry points. People entering the airport must also have their NIC, a valid plane ticket, or their passport with them.
Charges for Car Parking
- A motorcycle is charged Rs. 15 per entry.
- A personal vehicle like a car, wagon and jeep is charged Rs. 90 per entry.
- Public transport or a hotel shuttle is charged Rs. 400 per day or Rs. 4500 per month for a multiple entry pass.
- Those who travel on a regular basis can purchase a multiple entry pass for Rs. 600 per month.
Guidelines for Passengers
- The passengers should never bring prohibited or restricted items with them. You can contact the relevant airline’s representative.
- Follow the baggage weight limit regulation and any other directions on the airline ticket strictly.
- Don’t place your expensive stuff, such as currency, jewellery, laptop, mobile phone, tablet computer, camera, watch, or other valuables in your check-in baggage during departure.
- Never accept any item, eatable, tea/drink, or anything else from any unknown person.
- Don’t hand over your luggage to anyone.
- Don’t forget to pick up your luggage after customs, Anti-narcotics and Airport Security Force screening.
- Obtain all relevant information about your ticket/journey from the airline representative when your boarding passes arrive.
- Immediately report any loss, damage, or theft to the airline representative upon arrival at the destination.
- Please remember to bring your CNIC.
- Travelling with alcohol is strictly prohibited in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and it will be confiscated at the arrival lounge. Non-Muslims, on the other hand, can use this service at authorised locations and hotels with a permit.
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