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Islamabad International Airport (Urdu: اسلام آباد بین الاقوامی ہوائی اڈہ‎); IATA: ISB, ICAO: OPIS) is the main international airport serving the Islamabad-Rawalpindi metropolitan area and suburbs. It is built 20 km west of the twin cities near the Kashmir Highway and Motorway Interchange.

Islamabad International Airport

Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) Logo.png
(Urdu: اسلام آباد بین الاقوامی ہوائی اڈہ‎)
Logo of Islamabad International Airport.jpg
New Islamabad International Airport front view.jpg
View of the Airport from its parking area.
Airport typePublic
OwnerGovernment of Pakistan
OperatorPakistan Civil Aviation Authority[1]
ServesIslamabad-Rawalpindi region
LocationFateh Jang, Attock, Punjab, Pakistan
Opened1 May 2018[2]
Hub for
Elevation AMSL1,761 ft / 537 m
Coordinates33°32′56.70″N 72°49′32.34″E / 33.5490833°N 72.8256500°E / 33.5490833; 72.8256500Coordinates: 33°32′56.70″N 72°49′32.34″E / 33.5490833°N 72.8256500°E / 33.5490833; 72.8256500

Location in Islamabad
ISB is located in Punjab, Pakistan
Location of new Islamabad International Airport
ISB is located in Pakistan
ISB (Pakistan)
Direction Length Surface
m ft
28L/10R 3,657.6 12,000 Asphalt
28R/10L 3,657.6 12,000 Asphalt
Passengers Capacity9 million (first phase) 25 million (planned)
Cost105 billion (US$740 million)[3]

The airport commenced full operations on 3 May 2018, replacing the defunct Benazir Bhutto International Airport which now forms part of the PAF Base Nur Khan.[4] It is one of the largest airports in Pakistan in terms of passenger capacity, capable of serving 9 million passengers every year in its first phase.[5] Further planned expansions will allow it to serve up to 25 million passengers a year. The terminal includes 15 gates with ten remote gates, a four-star hotel, duty-free shops, food court and 42 immigration counters.[6] Additionally, Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority is acquiring 2,833 acres (11.46 sq km / 4.42 sq mi) of land to build a third runway at the airport. Furthermore, it is also the first and the only airport in Pakistan capable of handling the Airbus A380 and is expected to become a major hub serving Northern Pakistan.

History and detailsEdit

Early 3D visualization of the airport

The plan to construct a new airport was announced in January 2005 by Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority.[7] A land of 3242 acres land was acquired at the cost of Rs 2.5 billion in November 2005 near Ranjha, Fateh Jang in Attock District.[8]

The construction of a new airport was planned in response to increasing air traffic and passenger load at the existing Benazir Bhutto International Airport. It was estimated that the number of passengers at the current airport is growing by 14 percent annually compared to national air passenger growth rate of less than four percent, making it the second busiest airport in the country. Therefore, a site in Attock district was selected as the site for the construction of a new airport just a few kilometers from the Islamabad interchange on M1/M2 motorways. The foundation stone of the project was laid by former President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on 7 April 2007.[9][10]

It was a unique project of the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) and designed by French company Aéroports de Paris Ingenierie (ADPi) and CPG Corporation of Singapore. The whole project was financed by PCAA on its own. It is built on more than 3200 acres of land and consists of a passenger terminal building, 2 runways (28L/10R, 28R/10L), taxiways, apron and parking bays for wide-body aircraft. There is also a cargo terminal, air traffic control complex, fuel farm, as well as a fire, crash, and rescue facility. The site of the airport is near Fateh Jang Attock, some 20 km from Zero Point, Islamabad and 23 km from Saddar, Rawalpindi.[11] The airport was developed to be on par with international standards to serve as a major hub for all aviation activities in Pakistan.

The PCAA asked a team of British architects to design the new airport. PCAA signed an agreement with Louis Berger Group of USA in association with Pakistani consulting firm GT AASR, to undertake project management services. On 18 April 2018, a NOTAM was issued by PCAA which mentioned that the new Islamabad International Airport will be operational from 3 May 2018.[12] On 1 May 2018, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi officially inaugurated the new airport.[13] This was followed up with the airport commencing full commercial flight operations on 3 May 2018 and thus replacing the old airport.

On 8 July 2018, the first Airbus A380 test landed in Pakistan at the airport which arrived from Dubai International Airport.[14]

Since August 2019, Pakistan International Airlines has shifted its hub for international flights from Karachi's Jinnah International Airport to Islamabad International Airport in Islamabad. International traffic of PIA mostly comes from northern areas of the country which was why the national carrier decided to move most of its schedule to the capital city.[15]


Domestic Arrivals
International Departure Area

Islamabad International Airport has a 180,000m² modular terminal building which is initially capable of handling 9 million passengers and 80,000 metric tons cargo per annum. The numbers are expected to reach 25 million passengers by 2024.[16] Being a new airport, a significant portion of the land has been earmarked for commercial purposes such as duty-free shops, hotel and convention center, air malls, business centre, food courts, leisure and cinema facilities.

Airlines and destinationsEdit

Ground transportEdit

The airport is connected to Islamabad via the Kashmir Highway and Rawalpindi via the GT Road. A four-lane highway is also under construction to serve cargo traffic.[23] The Islamabad Metrobus is also being expanded to connect to the airport.[24]

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ "PCAA | Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority".
  2. ^ "First pictures: New Islamabad airport opens, to handle up to 25m flyers a year". 1 May 2018. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  3. ^ "PAC warns of using 2 runways of new Islamabad Airport at a time". Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  4. ^ "New Islamabad airport finally operational after years of delay". The Nation. 3 May 2018. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  5. ^ "Islamabad International Airport - IIAP - اسلام آباد انٹرنیشنل ائیرپورٹ". Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  6. ^ "New Islamabad airport: Rs3 billion allocated for road network - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 19 June 2016. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  7. ^ "New Islamabad Airport to be built at Fateh Jang". The Business Recorder. Pakistan. 11 April 2005.
  8. ^ "Land for Islamabad airport acquired". The Business Recorder. Pakistan. 15 November 2007.
  9. ^ "Islamabad International Airport under construction". The News. Pakistan. 29 June 2007.
  10. ^ "President to open new airport on April 7". The News. Pakistan. 25 March 2007.
  11. ^ "New BB Airport to open in June next year: Asif Yasin". The News. Pakistan. 14 April 2013. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  12. ^
  13. ^ "New Islamabad airport inaugurated after years of delay - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 1 May 2018. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  14. ^ "Dubai's Emirates flies one-off A380 to Pakistan's Islamabad". Gulf Business. 8 July 2018. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Benazir Bhutto New Islamabad International Airport, Pakistan". Airport Technology. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  17. ^ Airways, British (18 December 2018). "BRITISH AIRWAYS TAKES OFF TO ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN".
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ "flynas plans Pakistan launch in Feb 2018". airlineroute. 17 January 2018. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  21. ^ "SaudiGulf Airlines files proposed Pakistan service in Oct 2018". Routesonline.
  22. ^ "Istanbul's New Airport Is A Hot Beautiful Mess". One Mile at a Time. 9 April 2019.
  23. ^ Recorder, Business. "Road network for new Islamabad Airport: Dar approves Rs 11 billion project". Business Recorder. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  24. ^ "New Metro Bus Route: Construction work gains momentum - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 13 May 2017. Retrieved 25 May 2017.