The opening of Gwadar International Airport has faced another delay, raising concerns among policymakers and the business community. The airport, a vital part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), is being developed with Chinese investment.
The Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority, Khaqan Murtaza, confirmed the delay, citing technical reasons and issues with equipment delivery from China as the causes. He mentioned that the delayed cargo from China is expected to arrive this month.
Originally scheduled for inauguration this month, the new opening date has been set by Chinese authorities for March 2024, but Murtaza expressed uncertainty, indicating the possibility of further delays.
Gwadar International Airport is a significant component of the CPEC initiative, highlighting the joint efforts of China and Pakistan to enhance infrastructure and stimulate regional economic growth through improved connectivity.
The airport, with a budget of $230 million, began construction in 2019 and is fully financed by China. It will be Pakistan’s second-largest airport, covering 18 square kilometers. The airport project aligns with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’s mission to enhance transportation and trade routes, attracting investors and tourists to Gwadar and the broader region.