Construction of the proposed Gwadar International Airport in Pakistan is scheduled to start in April this year following the completion of planning work.
The $246m airport is located in the volatile Balochistan region and is said to be the largest in Pakistan.
Soil testing started in January last year and has now been completed, with 300 boreholes created in several locations.
Sources told the EurAsian Times: “Currently, the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) comprising the Pakistani and the Chinese officials look forward to initiate work on the Gwadar Airport in March as the feasibility study of the project has been completed, reviewed and approved by the competent authorities.”
The proposed airport will span over an area of 4,300 acres and will be able to accommodate narrow-body aircraft, including ATR 72 and Boeing B-737, as well as wide-body aircraft such as Boeing B-747.
“The projects in Gwadar are conducted under a framework agreement with NDRC and a MoU with MOFCOM and the Exim Bank. Unlike many of the other CPEC projects in Gwadar, the New Gwadar International Airport is not financed by a loan from China but through a Chinese grant,” the sources told the publication.
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The sources also told the news agency that the Pakistani government is likely to announce the initiation of formal work on the Gwadar International Airport in the next two weeks.
They added: “The provision of funds for this project would be ensured in line with the mutual agreement made between the Pakistani and the Chinese governments.”
The Government of Balochistan has already added the Gwadar Airport to its master plan for Gwadar, which also involves projects to transform the region into a financial hub.