Allama Iqbal International Airport
علامہ اقبال بین الاقوامی ہوائی اڈا
|Operator||Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority|
|Location||Lahore-54810, Punjab, Pakistan|
|Hub for||Pakistan International Airlines|
|Elevation AMSL||698 ft / 213 m|
|Statistics (July 2021 – June 2022)|
Allama Iqbal International Airport (Punjabi, Urdu: علامہ اقبال بین الاقوامی ہوائی اڈا, IATA: LHE, ICAO: OPLA) is the third largest civilian airport by traffic in Pakistan, after Jinnah International Airport, Karachi and Islamabad International Airport. It serves Lahore, capital of Punjab and second-largest city of Pakistan. It also serves a large portion of the travellers from the other regions of Punjab province. Originally known as Lahore International Airport, it was renamed after the visionary poet philosopher Dr Allama Iqbal, one of the pioneers that led to the creation of Pakistan. The airport has three terminals: the Allama Iqbal terminal, the Hajj terminal and a cargo terminal. The airport is about 15 km from the centre of the city.
At the time of the Independence of Pakistan, Walton Airport was the main airport of Lahore. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) acquired its first jet aircraft Boeing 720, Walton Airport was unable to handle the load of Boeing 720. The Government of Pakistan decided to build a brand new airport, which opened in 1962. The airport had a specifically built runway and apron to handle aircraft up to the Boeing 747. This opened Lahore's gates to the world. PIA initiated direct flights to Dubai and London via Karachi.
Over the course of the next 25 years, the demand for air travel rose. The government had to build a bigger terminal to meet the growing needs of the region. In March 2003, a new terminal was inaugurated by President General Pervez Musharraf, originally commissioned by then ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The airport was named Allama Iqbal International Airport and became the second largest airport in Pakistan after the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi. All flights were switched to the new airport and the old airport was passed onto the military. However, the government later reclaimed the airport from the military and developed it into a Hajj terminal.
The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority awarded the main contract to Airsys ATM, leader of a consortium with J&P Overseas Ltd, an international building and civil engineering contractor. Airsys ATM is a joint project from Thomson-CSF Airsys and Siemens, dedicated to air traffic management systems and airport development. The Airports Group in the UK was also awarded a $70 million contract for airport systems construction. The project was implemented by a consortium of Joannou & Paraskevaides (J&P), responsible for civil and building works, and the Airports Group, responsible for the implementation of the system. Airsys ATM and Thales ATM were responsible for the fabrication and installation of the air bridges at the new terminal.
In March 2006, PIA inaugurated nonstop service between Lahore and Toronto using Boeing 777s. In 2008, the national flag carrier of the UAE, Etihad Airways, opened a dedicated aircraft line maintenance facility at the airport. The facility is used for day-to-day technical line maintenance on Etihad aircraft, including hydraulic structural and instrument checks.
Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) has planned the expansion of the terminal building and the number of gates will be increased from 7 to 22, with a corresponding increase in remote bays. This will increase the annual passenger capacity of Lahore Airport from 6 million to 20 million which will be sufficient to cater to the passenger load for the next 15 to 20 years.
The new design of the Lahore Airport Expansion Project has inspiration from the national flower of Pakistan, Jasmine or locally known as "Chambeli". The airport will have 4 arms similar to 4 platters of Jasmine flower. The original building has Mughal architectural features but the new airport will have a blend of Spanish and Mughal Architecture.
Gates in the main terminal building will be increased from seven to twenty-two. The present terminal building will not be demolished but will be expanded. The current parking area will be converted to arrival and departure lounges. The first phase that included the construction of the triple storey parking, in place of the front square lawn, has been complete and is now fully operational. The second phase which includes the upgradation of the main runway is underway.
The design of the airport was developed by GilBartolomé Architects from Spain, following a contract awarded to international Spanish Firm, TYSPA International, which firm also worked on expanding the Madrid and São Paulo Airports. A Chinese firm, the China Construction Third Engineering Bureau, has been awarded the contract, worth US$382 million (RMB 2.6 billion CNY), to carry out the construction work. During the expansion of the airport, nearby road network has also been improved, which has helped to ease traffic congestion on the roads leading to the terminal.
LHE is fitted with all the essentials for domestic and international flights. The information below is correct as of September 2020.
- 7 air bridges with PSS & APSS facilities.
- 23 remote parking stands.
- Two parallel runways: one concrete, the other asphalt.
- Runway 36R/18L: 3,360 metres long, 45 metres wide, 15 metres shoulders on both sides. Max capacity: Airbus A380.
- Runway 36L/18R: 2,743 metres long, 46 metres wide. Max capacity: Boeing 747-400.
- Parallel taxiway for rapid entry/exit.
- 2 Rapid exit taxiways (Newly constructed).
- Instrument Landing System Category-II and ILS CAT-III on RWY 36R.
- Navigational Aids: DVOR/DME/TDME, NDB, OM, MM
- Pakistan State Oil provides fuel services to all airlines flying out of the airport. (Jet A-100)
- Fire fighting and Rescue Services. Category: 9
- FIDS systems located in the lounges and briefing concourses showing television programmes and flight information.
- Airport Mosque, with five times daily and Jummah prayers, located outside the airport left-hand side of the terminal building.
- CAA Porter services and Metro cab services are available.
- Custom and Immigration for international flights.
- Cargo and luggage wrapping services.
- Passenger assistance services (upon request).
- Full-service branches of National Bank of Pakistan, Habib Bank Ltd, Bank Al-Falah, and Allied Bank Ltd. alongwith ATMs
- Pakistan Post fully-staffed location
Ground handling agents
- Pakistan International Airlines.
- Shaheen Airport Services (SAPS).
- Royal Airport Services (RAS).
- Gerry's DNATA Ground Handling & Cargo.
- Airfield Restrictions: None
Airlines and destinations
The following table provides details of the major traffic flows out of Lahore in terms of passenger numbers, aircraft movements, cargo and mail. Note that the Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan operates with fiscal years starting on July and ending in June of next year. The results were collected from the Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan website.:
|Fiscal Year||Aircraft movements||Passengers (Intl & Domestic)||Cargo handled (M. Tons)||Mail handled (M. Tons)|
|Rank||City||Country||Number of flights||Airlines|
|1||Karachi||Pakistan||61||airblue, Pakistan International Airlines, Serene Air, AirSial, Fly Jinnah|
|2||Jeddah||Saudi Arabia||33||airblue, Pakistan International Airlines, Saudia|
|3||Dubai||United Arab Emirates||26||airblue, Emirates, Pakistan International Airlines|
|4||Abu Dhabi||United Arab Emirates||22||airblue, Etihad Airways, Pakistan International Airlines|
|6||Islamabad||Pakistan||17||Pakistan International Airlines|
|7||Muscat||Oman||16||Oman Air, Pakistan International Airlines|
|8||Dammam||Saudi Arabia||12||flynas, Pakistan International Airlines, SaudiGulf Airlines|
|9||Riyadh||Saudi Arabia||10||flynas, Pakistan International Airlines, Saudia|
|10||Kuwait City||Kuwait||09||Jazeera Airways, Kuwait Airways|
Awards and recognitions
- Allama Iqbal International Airport was ranked the world's leading airport by Singapore Airlines in-service performance in 2006.
- Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority "Airport Statistics" (PDF).
- "Allama Iqbal International Airport, Lahore | www.lahoreairport.com". www.lahoreairport.com.pk. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
- "Thanks For Your Vote of Confidence – PIA Advertisement – History of PIA – Forum". Historyofpia.com. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
- Now fly non-stop Pakistan to Toronto in less than 14 hours! (Advertisement). Pakistan International Airlines. 3 March 2006. Archived from the original on 22 August 2022.
- "NA (Direct flights to US could not be operated due to security hazards, NA told)". Pakistan Press International. 7 September 2006. Gale A151071397.
- "Etihad Airways opens dedicated aircraft line maintenance facility in Lahore Pakistan". Archived from the original on 15 February 2017. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
- TLTP (13 October 2020). "British Airways flight lands in Lahore after 40 years". Profit by Pakistan Today. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
- "British Airways revives destination in Pakistan after 44 years". www.aerotime.aero. Archived from the original on 18 October 2020. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
- "Allama Iqbal Airport Expansion (Under construction)". GilBartolome Architects. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
- "TYPSA designs the new Lahore airport in Pakistan – TYPSA". TYPSA::Consulting Engineers and Architects. 21 September 2016. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
- "Chinese Company Contracted To Build Pakistans Largest Airport". Pakistan Point. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
- "Welcome to Allama Iqbal International Airport Lahore". Archived from the original on 22 April 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2015. The official website to AIIA
- "Fogbound losses". TNS – The News on Sunday. 11 January 2015. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
- "AirSial expected to start operations in Pakistan next month, first plane lands in Karachi".
- "Azerbaijan Airlines Launches Pakistan Service From late-Sep 2023". AeroRoutes. 17 August 2023. Retrieved 17 August 2023.
- "China Southern Resumes Urumqi – Lahore From May 2023". Aeroroutes. Retrieved 3 April 2023.
- "Pakistan's low-cost airline Fly Jinnah set to commence operations after securing license". 20 October 2022.
- Fly Jinnah Official website
- Liu, Jim. "Pakistan International to resume Lahore – Bahrain from mid-Sep 2020". Routesonline. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
- "PIA Launches Direct Flights to Azerbaijan". 19 February 2022.
- PAKISTAN INTERNATIONAL SCHEDULES EXTRA DAMASCUS SERVICE IN SEP 2022
- "PIA to resume Turkiye flight operations from November 14". 7 October 2022.
- "PIA Resumes Service Between Lahore & Kuala Lumpur". 27 June 2022.
- "PIA starts booking tickets for its Kuwait operation". 11 September 2022.
- "SCAT Aircompany Adds Almaty – Lahore From July 2023". AeroRoutes. 13 June 2023. Retrieved 15 June 2023.
- "Thai Airways resumes direct flights".
- DHL and Etihad Cargo increase connectivity through the Middle East Archived 5 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine
- "Egypt Air Cargo Starting Flights for Lahore - History of PIA - Forum".
- "New cargo air service links Lahore, Lanzhou in NW China". The Nation. 5 December 2019. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
- Statistical Information of CAA Pakistan Archived 19 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine CAA Pakistan, assessed 8 March 2009
- "Allama Iqbal International Airport Tops in Services – History of PIA – Forum". Historyofpia.com. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
Media related to Allama Iqbal International Airport at Wikimedia Commons
- Airport Information In Pakistan
- Allama Iqbal Int'l Airport Information
- Allama Iqbal International Airport
- Allama Iqbal International Airport, Lahore
- Accident history for LHE at Aviation Safety Network
- Aeronautical chart and airport information for OPLA at SkyVector
- Current weather for OPLA at NOAA/NWS