Bacha Khan Airport waiting to receive passengers again

April 07, 2020

PESHAWAR: The Bacha Khan International Airport may have to wait another week or so to start receiving passengers, but the authorities have used the time after the closure of the flights to disinfect...

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PESHAWAR: The Bacha Khan International Airport may have to wait another week or so to start receiving passengers, but the authorities have used the time after the closure of the flights to disinfect and keep the airport spick-and-span.

“We are ready and waiting to receive passengers again,” said an airport official.According to the latest government announcement, the flights would be closed until April 14. Earlier, the closure due to the coronavirus pandemic was until April 5, but the date was extended to avoid the spread of the disease.

The airport in Peshawar, along with four others in the country, was among the first to stop both outgoing and incoming international flights. Later, the domestic flights too were stopped. Only Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi airports continued to operate international flights before being closed. They now operate special flights only.

The airport in Peshawar is quite busy on normal days as a number of domestic and international flights are operated by several airlines, primarily to fly migrant workers based in the Gulf countries. Due to cultural reasons, every departing and incoming passenger is accompanied by a number of relatives and friends. The car parking lot, the road outside the airport and the lounge are invariably crowded.

But it is now almost a deserted place as only those working at the airport report for duty. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has a skeleton staff on duty while all employees aged 50 and above and women have been sent on leave. Inside the gates of the airport, employees are busy disinfecting the place including the roads, squares, railings, vehicles and lounges.

Officials at the airport expressed their surprise that the Cantonment Board Peshawar, the NDMA and the Rescue 1122 have yet to offer their services to the Bacha Khan International Airport as has been done in other cities and airports. Rather, whatever staff they had at the airport has been withdrawn. Meanwhile, the promised scanners have been made available at most of the airports as part of the measures taken to identify potential patients of coronavirus.



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