Sindh govt. decides to operationalize Mai Bakhtawar Airport
The decision was taken in a meeting presided over by Sindh Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah
It’s unclear what time Civil Aviation Authority will take to finalize preparations for starting flights; DG CAA says ‘after meeting with PIA and other services, they will be in a position to start the flight operation’.
CAA has kept non-functional several airports of Sindh since long
Karachi: Sindh government has decided to operationalize the Mai Bakhtawar Airport of Islamkot in Tharparkar desert district, which was inaugurated in April 2018 however it depends on Civil Aviation Authorities what time it takes to finalize the preparations for starting the flights.
The decision to operationalize the airport was taken in a meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Sindh Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah at Sindh Secretariat on Monday.
The meeting, attended by Director General, Civil Aviation Khaqan Murtaza, Commissioner Mirpur Khas Syed Ijaz Ali Shah and other officers, discussed various aspects of the matter.
Chief Secretary said that Sindh government has established a state of art airport in Islamkot and by activating the airport, the people of Thar and the companies working in Thar Coal will get benefit from it.
He further said that under the MoU regarding Mai Bakhtawar Airport, the Civil Aviation has to operationalize the airport.
DG Civil Aviation assured to operate Mai Bakhtawar Airport and said that after meeting with the officials of PIA and other services, they will be in a position to start the flight operation at Mai Bakhtawar Airport.
Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah said that Power Companies, Thar Coal Mining Companies, Commissioner Mirpur Khas and PIA and other stakeholders should jointly determine the schedule of flights and operate the flights as per the convenience of the people and power companies.
Mai Bakhtawar Airport at Islamkot was inaugurated by PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on April 11, 2018. It is named after Mai Bakhtawar Lashari Shaheed, a farm worker who was murdered during a landlord-tenant confrontation near Jhudo about 75 years back. Sindh government had spent over one billion rupees on construction of airport. Clearance for the construction of the airport was given by Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence on 25 September 2009 as it lies within 80 km of Pakistan’s international border with India, and it took about four years to complete the construction. The airport has a 7,000 ft.
It is pertinent to mention that Civil Aviation Authority has kept non-functional many airports of Sindh since long. Such airports include Hyderabad airport, which used to be functional in 1970s, Sindhri Airport near Mirpur Khas inaugurated by then Chief Minister Syed Ghaus Ali Shah in 1980 during the government of Prime Minister Late Muhammad Khan Junejo, Sehwan Airport built during Benazir Bhutto’s government’s second tenure when Syed Abdullah Shah (Sitting CM Murad Shah’s father) was the Chief Minister, Nawabshah airport and some other airports. It also curtailed the flights for Mohen Jo Daro airport while Sukkur Airport is used only for transit flights.