New Gwadar International Airport (NGIA) is a new greenfield airport being built in Gwadar, Pakistan, managed and operated by Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA).

To be owned by a joint venture between Pakistan, Oman, and China, the airport will handle domestic and international operations.

The airport development is a part of the $56bn China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) development, which is a cornerstone of China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative.

The $246m greenfield airport to be built across an area of 4,300 acres will be the biggest in Pakistan and will also become the nation’s second airport capable of handling A380 aircraft upon its commissioning in 2022. It is expected to stimulate the development in Gwadar peninsula and boost trade between Pakistan and China.

The airport will be operated under open sky policy and will be developed under the guidance of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

New Gwadar International Airport development timeline

New Gwadar International Airport project was initiated as an early harvest high-priority project of the CPEC programme in 2014. It was approved by the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) in January 2015.

The project is being funded through a grant agreement signed between China and Pakistan in May 2017. Soil testing on the project site was started in January 2018 and involved drilling of 300 boreholes in various locations.

The groundbreaking ceremony was held in March 2019, with construction scheduled to be completed in 2022.

New Gwadar International Airport location

New Gwadar International Airport will be located 26km north-east of the existing airport in Gwadar City on the south-western Arabian Sea coast of Balochistan region.

The land acquired for the airport is situated in Gurandani, next to the Makran Coastal Highway.

Features of New Gwadar International Airport

New Gwadar International Airport will be spread over an area of 4,300 acres. It will have the capacity to accommodate narrow-body aircraft such as ATR 72 and Boeing B-737, as well as wide-body aircraft such as Airbus A-380 and Boeing B-747 for domestic and international routes.

“New Gwadar International Airport will also have the provision to build a second runway, which will be located north of the main runway.”

The greenfield airport will feature a modern terminal building, which will be spread over a 14,000m² area. It will have a cargo terminal, which will have an initial handling capacity of 30,000t a year.

The terminal will feature modern facilities and ensure safe operations by improving passenger comfort and convenience.

Runway and other infrastructure at the airport

The single runway at the airport will have a length of 3,658m and width of 75m. It will have the capacity to accommodate wide-bodied aircraft. The runway will be complemented by a 23m-long taxiway with 10.5m paved shoulders on both sides.

New Gwadar International Airport will also have the provision to build a second runway in future, which will be located north of the main runway.

The airport infrastructure will also include an air traffic control (ATC) tower, fire, crash, and rescue facilities and a fuel farm, as well as associated buildings and infrastructure to support the airport’s operations.

Contractors involved

PCAA awarded a $246m design-build contract to China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) for the construction of the New Gwadar international airport.