Gilgit Airport New Terminal Building Project

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Abbas Ali
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Re: CAA Starts Expansion Work At Airports In Skardu And Gilgit

Post by Abbas Ali »

Apparently the main aim of these projects is to provide better facilities to passengers of domestic flights already operating from these two airports and reduce number of delayed flights for Skardu by upgrading aircraft landing system at Skardu to enable or imporve flight operations in bad weather conditions. The completion of expansion/upgradation might also help PIA in increasing flight frequencies for these two airports.

I think extenstion of Skardu Airport runway will also be useful for operating Pakistan Air Force Ilyushin Il-78 Midas tanker/transport aircraft.

I also hope the upgraded/expanded/renovated terminal building at airports of Gilgit and Skardu are designed and built according to those areas' local building/architecture design traditions.

After completion of expansion/upgradation project at airports of Gilgit and Skardu, I don't think these two airports will start receiving international flights at the level of other major international airports of the country like Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore. Emirates might be interested in operating flights to Skardu because there are plans to extend runway of that airport to allow bigger aircraft operations, according to news reports. Recently in an interview, one of Emirates officials expressed airline's interest in operating flights to Pakistan's Northern Areas. Probably investors from UAE have plans to develop some sort of resort for mountain climbers, skiers, trekkers in areas like Skardu and Gilgit ?

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Re: CAA Starts Expansion Work At Airports In Skardu And Gilgit

Post by Abbas Ali »

Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani at a public gathering in Skardu announced project to upgrade airport in Skardu to international airport for promotion of tourism in the area. He said that airport's upgradation project already has been initiated.

Btw, PTV news bulletin showed nice little video footage of Pakistan Air Force Gulfstream with Prime Minister onboard at Skardu airport.

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Re: CAA Starts Expansion Work At Airports In Skardu And Gilgit

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Finally.

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Re: CAA Starts Expansion Work At Airports In Skardu And Gilgit

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I wonder how they would expand GIL runway (07) as there is not enough space in that narrow valley. Plans of its expansion have failed feasibility numerous times before.

Right through the runway's over-run and over-run extension; runs the main "Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam" linking Gilgit to Karakorum Highway. On the other side (rwy 25) is the curve of Gilgit river.

Moreover, the only approach is runway 25 which is much too curvy for an airliner bigger than a C-130 or ATR to manoeuver.
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Re: CAA Starts Expansion Work At Airports In Skardu And Gilgit

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Is current runway of Skardu Airport capable of accepting widebody aircraft flight operations with heavy/cargo load? Probably the runway extension is part of Skardu Airport expansion project? I understand one of Skardu Airport's two runways i.e. runway 14/32 is 11,944ft in length and it is longer than runways of a number of international Pakistani airports including airports of Lahore and Karachi.

Probably temperature condition & elevation of 7,316 above sea level of Skardu Airport require extension in runway for operations of wide-body civilian and military jet aircraft operating with heavy passenger/cargo load. A number of international airports, including airports in cities like Denver, Madinah, Doha, Isfahan, New Delhi, Tehran, Abu Dhabi have runways longer in length than Skardu Airport runway. The list of airports with longest runways in the world can be viewed >>here<<.

According to info available on the net, the current length of Gilgit Airport runway 07/25 is 5,400ft. The extension of Gilgit Airport runway does look difficult due to presence of road and limited available free space on one side (runway 07 threshold) and river on the other side (runway 25 threshold) of airport’s runway as already pointed out by forum member SPOILER and as also seen in following satellite image of Gilgit Airport.

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Gilgit Airport satellite image - Source: www.wikimapia.org

Probably changes can be made in path of that road to give little extension to runway? But very little amount of space looks available for runway extension on other side of the road and I don’t think jetliner flights with good passenger/cargo load can be used even if that amount of little space is added to extend Gilgit Airport runway length.

Btw, here’s a photo showing PIA ATR 42-500 (AP-BHJ) approaching runway 25 of Gilgit Airport. The path taken by river near the runway is visible in this photo.

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Photo taken from the flight deck of PIA ATR 42-500 (AP-BHJ) approaching Gilgit Airport runway 25.

And, here’s a video showing PIA Fokker F-27 Friendship Mk 200 (AP-BCZ) under the command of Capt. Shayan Haqqee landing on runway 25 of Gilgit Airport. Vehicles using a main road near the end of runway (runway 07 threshold) can also be seen in this video.


Video of PIA Fokker F-27 Friendship Mk 200 (AP-BCZ) landing & taxiing at Gilgit Airport.

So, apparently Gilgit Airport upgradation project will include construction of new terminal building and upgradaton of related facilities like car part, re-carpeting of runway, installation of modern landing system.

And, it seems Skardu Airport upgradation project will include expansion of airport terminal building for international flights, car park expansion, installation of modern landing system and probably extension of runway.

I hope Pakistan CAA on its official website www.caapakistan.com.pk post details or summary of upgradation project for airports of Gilgit and Skardu.

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Re: CAA Starts Expansion Work At Airports In Skardu And Gilgit

Post by SPOILER »

Thank you Abbas for the details.

It will be a blessing for GIL to have some modern landing instruments as it is number two airport in Pakistan after Chitral for highest frequency of delayed/cancelled/come-back flights due to inclement weather conditions; especially in winters.

KDU will only need widening of runway 32/14 and up-gradation of terminal/airport facilities.
Runway 15/33 is currently in use by PAF only. There was some expansion work already going on for it.
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Re: CAA Starts Expansion Work At Airports In Skardu And Gilgit

Post by AN »

Just for INFO

PIA procedure allows for landing at Gilgit from both sides, i.e. both runways are usable for landing as there is adequate area within the valley to make a left hand circuit and land on runway 07.

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Re: CAA Starts Expansion Work At Airports In Skardu And Gilg

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Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) tender notice in today's (December 23) newspaper for recarpeting of runway at Gilgit Airport.

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Re: CAA Starts Expansion Work At Airports In Skardu And Gilg

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Gilani orders feasibility for all-weather Gilgit airport

ISLAMABAD, Jan 24 (APP):
Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Monday directed preparation of a feasibility report for an all-weather international airport at Gilgit.

Gilani had announced upgradation of the Gilgit airport in September 2009 to cater to larger aircraft in all weather conditions. Currently bad weather closes down the airport for days.The airport currently operates from sunrise to sunset and lacks Instrument Landing System and even runway lights. The upgradation of the airport can make it an international hotspot for tourism.

Source: APP
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Re: CAA Starts Expansion Work At Airports In Skardu And Gilg

Post by Abbas Ali »

Investors Show Interest in Making Airports at Gilgit and Skardu All-weather Airports

MARCH 17 -
Chairman Pakistan Board of Investment Saleem H. Mandviwalla in a meeting with Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan Syed Mehdi Shah has said that investors are keen to invest in construction of all weather airports in Gilgit and Skardu.

Source: APP
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Re: CAA Starts Expansion Work At Airports In Skardu And Gilg

Post by Abbas Ali »

Latest information related to topic subject:

ISLAMABAD, July 14 (APP): President Asif Ali Zardari has directed for the upgradation of Gilgit Airport with night landing facility.

Source: APP

A report from the month of May.

Airport expansion projects in doldrums

Monday, 23 May 2011

GILGIT:
Despite repeated claims made by the federal as well as Gilgit-Baltistan governments, work on the expansion of Gilgit and Skardu airports could not be started yet. Besides, the government also failed to increase the number of flights to the region, creating lots of tourists coming to the area.

On the other hand, the Karakoram Highway is also in a dilapidated condition for the last many years especially after the 2010 floods badly damaged it at various points.

It is important to note here that all major promises made after the empowerment package to improve the infrastructure of the region have remained hollow.

As a result, the region's vital sources of income especially the tourism sector are facing crisis of sorts putting bad effect on the economy of the region.

Under the 2009 empowerment order, the tourism department had been given under the GB Council. However, officials said that the federal government was not cooperating with the council in materialising the proposals to promote the sector.

According to a plan and as promised by the government on a number of occasions, the Skardu airport was to be expanded with extra flights to the area from Islamabad to help the tourists in visiting the scenic valley. Similar plan was proposed for the Gilgit- airport.

Source: bangesahar.com

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Re: CAA Starts Expansion Work At Airports In Skardu And Gilg

Post by Abbas Ali »

In following video, from 1:05 to 1:07, the structure in grey colour I think is underconstruction extension of Gilgit Airport terminal building. The structure in white colour appears to be old terminal building with ATC currently in use.



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Re: CAA Starts Expansion Work At Airports In Skardu And Gilg

Post by Abbas Ali »

Gilgit Airport
On August 23, Federal Interior Minister Abdul Rehman Malik said that Gilgit Airport will be made capable of handling jet flights.


Skardu Airport
On August 28, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah said that Hajj flights in year 2013 will be operated from Skardu Airport also.

Seems improvement/expansion of Skardu Airport terminal building and airside areas will allow operation of Hajj flights with widebody aircraft like Airbus A310-300 or with narrowbody aircraft like Boeing 737-800 in high density configuration.

Btw, some undated exterior and interior photos of Skardu Airport terminal building can be found on AAJ Sons website page:

http://www.aajsons.com/caa.php

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Re: CAA Starts Expansion Work At Airports In Skardu And Gilg

Post by needroos »

The current terminals at both Skardu and Gilgit are tiny. However, that does not mean that they are not fit for purpose given the current service/volume of flights.

As mentioned above in one of the comments, foreign tourists coming into the Northern Areas are a) Much fewer than they were over the years given the wider security situation etc b) Are likely to be adventure enthusiasts/professional adventurers, for whom the quality of the airport is not much of a concern.

What is lacking however, is the quality of say the security setup for crew/passengers/cargo. I have flown through with baggage scanners not working.

Second, attached to both airports is sizeable (relative) military setup. Whether expansion is possible also depends on how much land/infrastructure can expand into current military hangers/warehouses etc.

There was a presentation to the Governor GB that was shared on the internet that had suggested that ILS would be implemented at Gilgit and Skardu airports. That is perhaps the need of the hour. Night time fights are perhaps not that necessary at the moment as people who would have to arrive/depart at night may not be comfortable commuting to villages towns beyond the airport or immediate vicinity of the cities.

Though sending people to Switzerland to observe airports in cloudy weather is a scandal and a complete waste of time and money!!!

Just to detrack - there is a wonderful PTDC guest hose in Rama. But completely inappropriate to the environment and needs of the area. It is based on a Swiss ski chalet that impressed a tourism minister in the 1990s who visited Switzerland. It has high ceilings which are impossible to heat and everyone is freezing. He should have perhaps also considered how central heating would be provided!!

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Re: CAA Starts Expansion Work At Airports In Skardu And Gilg

Post by TAILWIND »

Abbas Ali wrote:ISLAMABAD, July 14 (APP): President Asif Ali Zardari has directed for the upgradation of Gilgit Airport with night landing facility.
Will it be named BB Shaheed, Asifa or bakhtawar airport?
On a serious note, given the topography and surrounding obstacles, i am skeptical that night operations can be conducted at Gilgit. ILS too is not feasible.
IMO the inly way to operate at night there is to use NVGs?