Ah, travel! What an exciting hobby. It enhances the human desire to explore the world outside their own. It encourages them to meet new people, encounter new cultures, understand different values and experience unique perspectives. The occasion or reason to pursue this hobby can be from attending an event or to finally using that vacation time. When making the effort to travel, sometimes a person gets strapped when finally deciding the means to make the actual journey.
More often than not, Pakistanis prefer to make their holiday destination outside and far away from the boundaries of this country. To make the international journey, they prefer air travel as their main method to make the commute. There are multiple airports within Pakistan which civilians can use to travel to-and-from this glorious country.
Before going into the article, we HAVE to give special mention the New Gwadar International Airport (NGIA), being built in collaboration with China as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative, is the latest ‘greenfield airport’ being built to assist in. This is the latest effort by the Pakistani government to improve and develop the city of Gwadar into a modern port and trade city since 2002. This new airport is being expected to bolster the trade primarily between Pakistan and China, and is expected to be constructed by 2022. Hopefully this doesn’t disrupt the lives of those living near the airport, like the New World City society just 5 minutes away from the entrance of the NGIA airport.
This (relatively) recent announcement gave us the inspiration to talk about an oft-overlooked topic, so we decided to give other airports the limelight. These are the top 5 airports in Pakistan, listed in no particular order:
Allama Iqbal International Airport (Lahore, LHE)
Formally known as Lahore International Airport, this complex was built in March 2003 and inaugurated by then-prime minister President General Pervez Musharraf in response to the rising demand of air travel, specially into one of the busiest cities in Pakistan.
The airport has been subject to an expansion since 2016 to handle the increasing civilian / into and out of the city; this project included an overhauled parking space containing a multi-story lot and better / expanded roads to maintain the flow of traffic. This expansion has also turned the airport from a (relative) eyesore into a sight to behold, a place that could also pull double-duty as a ‘tourist attraction’.
There are a multitude of societies situated around or near the airport; multiple DHA phases and sectors, Paragon City, Eden Avenue, Divine Gardens and even Askari X. By extension, this logic also applies to the rest of urban Lahore considering the motorway to-and-from the airport is directly connected the Ring Road.
Here’s a fun fact; Sarfraz Hamid Properties is located just a 10 minute drive away! You can locate us by clicking on this link or visit our website to find out more information on the aforementioned locations within the city, as well as other Lahore housing societies.
Jinnah International Airport (Karachi, KHI)
Formally known as Drigh Road Airport, this airport is recognized as Pakistan’s first international airport. First opened in 1992 within the Karachi, it has a seven-story main terminal designed to handle more than 30,000 passengers in any given day. The airport has two additional terminals designed to handle passengers travelling to and from Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage.
Jinnah International Airport is located just near the following societies;, T&T Colony, Gulshan E Amna, a dedicated society for the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority, Tariq Bin Ziyad Housing Society and Shah Faisal Town.
Multan International Aiport (Multan, MUX)
Previously known as Muhammad Bin Qasim International Airport, this airport has a rich history well before independence, being first used by the British Royal Air Force to travel into and out of this region during 1919. After 1947, this airport slowly transitioned towards commercial use by the public, with Pakistan International Airlines using it from 1957. As demand grew over the years, so did this airport in order to keep up. The last upgrade to this facility was in 2010.
This airport is highly favored by the Pakistani troops, again due to its legacy. The PAF base is just beside this airport, with the following societies to house the locals; the Multan Airport Society, the Jamilabad Colony, the Multan Cantt. Residential Area, the Shadman Colony and the PIA Colony.
Islamabad International Airport (Islamabad, ISB)
Out of all the airports mentioned in this article, this is the latest airport to be built in Pakistan. Designed to replace the since-defunct Benazir Bhutto International Airport as the primary facility to handle air travel into and out of Islamabad. First announced by the CAA in 2005, this airport commenced operations in mid-2018. Because of its relative popularity and function, the PIA has shifted all incoming migration from Karachi to Islamabad as of August 2019.
This airport technically resides in the outskirts of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, accessible from the Lahore-Islamabad Motorway. The societies that reside closest to the airport are Top City, Mumtaz City.
Bacha Khan International Airport (Peshawar, PEW)
This airport is located at the south-western end of Peshawar and named after a renowned freedom fighter and activist Abdul Ghaffar Khan, known by his nickname as ‘Bacha Khan’. Historically, this airport was used by the British ever since it was just a small airfield designed to connect the country to the outside world. This airport is also widely known to have a railway line cross through it; the ‘Khyber Train Sawari’ runs through one of the main runways for the express purpose of appealing to tourists and is the only passenger line in Pakistan that is still powered by steam engines.
This airport is completely surrounded by various societies; the Riaz Shaheed Colony, Hassan Ghari and Zulfiqar Town, Tahkal, University Town and Abdarra. As for the aforementioned railway, it covers an entire stretch of the Karachi–Peshawar Railway Line, making multiple stops along the way from Peshawar Cantt. to Attock Khurd.