Debut of New Gwadar International Airport enthuses CPEC romanticism
Editor's Note: The author is President of the Institute of International Relations and Media Research (IIRMR). The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of Gwadar Pro.
Inauguration of airbase infrastructure of New Gwadar International Airport (NGIA) on July 27 has opened brand new chapter of infrastructure development of CPEC that will usher in modern air transport connectivity among regional and international players, promoting ripple of economic opportunities in terms of trade, business, employability and tourism.
Undraping of New Gwadar International Airport (NGIA) will unleash avalanche of promises of high-octane commerce growth and development headway. It will also set vibrant tone of leading-edge air transport infrastructure and economic upward trajectory.
Covering an area of 4,300 acres, as the second biggest airport in Pakistan, NGIA is designed to accommodate ATR 72, Boeing B-737, Airbus A-380 and Boeing B-747 for domestic and international routes.
NGIA possesses the role as significant drivers of Sino-Pak and regional economies. It will facilitate trade and create jobs for many people directly and indirectly in supporting services. Equipped with advanced facilities including aeronautical and non-aeronautical in coming time, it has the potential to bolster economic growth in Gwadar as well as surrounding areas. For this reason, Gwadar Master plan will frame development plans around the entire ‘airport region’.
In the wave of contemporary globalization, countries need more connectivity. The global movement of goods and services requires more advanced infrastructure. Therefore, for Pakistan, NGIA offers more possibilities for international trade and tourism. Indeed, more visitors mean more money effectively feeding the local economy.
NGIA is an incredibly good news for all flights to and from Gwadar. In order to comprehensively promote the faster development of Pakistan's aviation industry, the new airport will ensure the frequency of flights and maximize the transport efficiency, so as to promote the more efficient flow of people and goods, and save more travel time and costs for passengers.
It is also a milestone step for infrastructure development. Rail and road transport are the two most common modes of transportation, but railways, tracks, stations, bridges and related facilities require complex planning and a lot of manpower and material resources to complete, while air travel only requires the construction of airports. NGIA represents a major step forward in Pakistan's aviation infrastructure sector, enabling more people to save more money while traveling by air.
In recent years airports have become increasingly aware of the value of their location at the nexus of regional transportation networks. In the UK, Heathrow alone is estimated to contribute EUR 6.2 billion to the economy every year. In Gwadar case, because of the radiation effect of NGIA, the economies of surrounding cities and villages will also be boosted, which is good news for Gwadar and Pakistan.
Energy, manpower and other guarantees are ready to ensure the smooth operation of the new airport. In order to keep the power supply of the new airport stable and not be affected by power failures, there will be three transmission lines to continuously supply power to NGIA, ensuring the availability of 12 MW of power around the clock. On the other hand, China has provided systematic training courses for operating personnel in various departments of the airport. The first human resources training course started on July 8 and ended on July 27, aiming to train personnel in various positions at the airport and help them hone relevant technical, administrative and management knowledge.
Meanwhile installation of state of art security features, an integral part of NGIA is operational with Installation of hold or hand baggage Scanning Machines.
In addition, in order to ensure airport security, the new airport is also equipped with a series of security equipment including the most advanced hand luggage scanners. Pakistani government has also planned to get NGIA inspected by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and other security agencies like European Citizen Action Service (ECAS), and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to ensure implementation of security standards.
Officials of CAA said that fully ensuring the safety of NGIA will encourage more foreign airlines to open new routes to and from Gwadar, which will stimulate the local economy to develop faster. In addition, as part of fulfilling the "Belt and Road" global green practice commitment, NGIA decided to launch the "Green Coverage Initiative" to gradually develop into a new type of comprehensive green airport.