Friday, 9 March 2012

Bahawalpur Airport

Bahawalpur Airport (IATA: BHV, ICAO: OPBW) is situated 2 nm (3.7 km) from the city centre of Bahawalpur, in lower Punjab. The airport mainly caters the city of Bahawalpur, however, the national carrier decided to launch international flights to the Middle East in July 2009. The airport extension project is being supervised by the Dubai Civil Aviation Department.
The airport was re-developed from funds of the United Arab Emirates government. A new terminal has been constructed and was renamed after the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, who helped fund and oversee its construction. On November 9, 2002 the first portion of 4,400-foot (1,300 m)-long runway of the Bahawalpur airport was opened. A PIA Fokker F27 Friendship landed at the airport from Islamabad. The entire expenditure of the project is estimated to be Rs260 million and most of it was borne by the ruler of Dubai. During November 2004, contractors began working on re-developing the old airport into a more modern and advanced facility.
During the year 2005, he said the PIA had earned a record revenue of Rs150 million, which was double as compared to the year 2004 from operating at this airport. On January 21, 2007, Phase two of the airport was inaugurated and Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, opened the facility and viewed the new amenities including the departures and arrivals halls.
The new building was named after late Dubai Emir, Sheikh Rashid Terminal, who also funded majority of the project. The airport has a concourse hall for arrival of approximately 60 to 70 passengers and departure lounges for about 140 passengers with several rooms for offices of the airport and airline managers, which was not available at the old building. Besides that, there is also a Commercially Important Persons (CIP) lounge instead of a VIP lounge. According to airport manager Tahir Ahsan, the CIP lounge has been constructed to do away with the "VIP culture", where any premium passenger can use the lounge. There are also food outlets provided and the new traffic control tower has also been built within the building.
There are many cameras installed in the building to monitor the movement of passengers. A flight information system was also introduced in the building. All parts of the building are air-conditioned. A royal lounge has also been built adjacent to the main terminal building. The lounge will be reserved for princes and members of the royal family whenever they visit the city. A parking lot has been built outside the building after converting the surrounding sandy area into lush green lawns.
The airport consists of arrival and departure halls, new airline offices, logistics, engineering and security support centres as well as cargo areas and passenger and cargo aircraft-parking bays. The airport extension project is being supervised by the Dubai Civil Aviation Department as well as the Defence Ministry of Pakistan. The recent extension of the airport was set to streamline air cargo operations and boost agricultural exports from the Punjab province.

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