The government has approved the New Gwadar International Airport project at the cost of Rs. 55.4 billion, which is 147% higher than first review.
The Central Development Working Party (CDWP), which is a body authorized to inspect and accept development schemes and refer the mega projects to the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC), approved the project. Apart from that the committee also endorsed a reduction in the scope of the Gwadar road scheme.
The CDWP meeting was chaired by the Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Jehanzeb Khan and took up the New Gwadar International Airport project to be financed by the Government of Pakistan funds.
Gwadar is the epicenter of China’s $60 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor of energy and infrastructure projects in Pakistan. Pakistan received a Chinese grant of 1.52 billion Yuan for the airport project which is approximately Rs 34 billion.
In 2010, the airport project was approved at Rs 7.5 billion and later on, the revised one was cleared in 2015 at a cost of Rs 22.2 billion. The CDWP accepted the second revision at the cost of Rs 55.4 billion which is 147% more than the 2015 estimation.
As per the officials from CDWP, a substantial increase in the cost is due to the second revision is based on a project’s comprehensive designs.
The CDWP also requests the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to assess the option of reducing the construction cost of buildings which is to be used by the Airport Security Force (ASF) and the CAA.
In the current fiscal year, the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) allocated Rs 519 million for the Gwadar International Airport project. Oman is also contributing to the development of the airport and has given a grant of $17.5.
Currently, the existing airport does not have the capability to handle large Airbus such as A-380 aircraft and can only handle small aircrafts.