Government Decides to Outsource Islamabad Airport for 15 Years to Enhance Efficiency and Modernize Aviation Sector
Islamabad Airport Outsourcing Aims to Improve Operations and Financial Challenges Faced by National Carrier
Islamabad: In a strategic move aimed at enhancing efficiency and management, the federal government has announced the outsourcing of Islamabad Airport for a duration of 15 years. The decision, reaffirmed by Federal Aviation Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique during a National Assembly session, aims to revamp the aviation sector and address financial challenges faced by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), which currently carries a substantial debt of Rs. 742 billion, putting a strain on its operations and overall viability.
Minister Rafique clarified that outsourcing does not imply relinquishing ownership of the airport. Instead, private operators will be involved in managing and operating various aspects of the airport’s functions, such as terminal operations, ground services, and maintenance. The primary focus is to enhance the airport’s efficiency, passenger experience, and overall service quality.
The outsourcing process will be guided by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which will ensure the implementation of best practices in international aviation management. The move is part of a broader strategy to improve the aviation industry’s overall performance in Pakistan.
Addressing concerns about the potential impact on airport staff, the Minister reassured that no employee would lose their job due to this initiative. On the contrary, the outsourcing is expected to create new job opportunities and foster healthy competition, benefiting both the airport and passengers.
The government’s long-term vision for Islamabad Airport includes modernization, expansion, and adopting global best practices. By outsourcing the airport’s operations, authorities aim to attract private investment, expertise, and innovative solutions, elevating Islamabad Airport’s stature among regional and international aviation hubs.
Minister Rafique also revealed that the outsourcing model would serve as a blueprint for potential similar initiatives at other major airports in Pakistan, including Lahore and Karachi.
Although some critics have expressed concerns about potential vested interests influencing the decision-making process, the Minister assured that transparency and adherence to the rule of law would be maintained throughout the entire process.
“I want to make it clear that my focus is on the welfare of the nation and promoting a corruption-free system,” the Minister asserted. “We will ensure that the interests of the people are protected,” he added.