GWADAR - Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal said on Saturday that New Gwadar International Airport would become operational from March 23 next year. The minister announced this while chairing a meeting to finalise the pricing model of fares for airports in Balochistan for higher traffic volumes and enhanced air-connectivity of the provinces. The planning minister directed authorities concerned to ensure inauguration and shifting of flight operations from old Gwadar Airport to New Gwadar Airport in March next year. “It will be a gift for the people of Balochistan on Pakistan Day,” he added.

The minister further announced to expand international flight operations from Quetta airport by August 14 this year to enhance Balochistan’s connectivity with Middle East. The meeting was also briefed that PIA is operating 30 flights weekly to three cities of Balochistan. Advisor Maritime Affairs Jawad Khokhar, Additional Secretary Planning Dawood Muhammad, secretary aviation, Balochistan chief secretary, Pakistan International Airlines chief executive officer and Civil Aviation Authority deputy director general attended the meeting. It is pertinent to mention here that the airport is one of the major projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).The new airport will be suitable for bigger aircraft like Airbus A-380 and Boeing -747 and 777 etc for international and domestic services.