‘Airports must not be constructed on political motives’

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Civil Aviation and Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique on Thursday said that the airports must not be constructed in the country on political grounds as such adventures had subsequently proved burden on national kitty.

Answering the questions of members of National Assembly (MNAs) in the Lower House of the Parliament, during question hour, he said from out of 47 airports, 17 was non functional in the country due to their inability to generate revenues due to low percentage of passengers.

The field planning of non functional airports was not made on commercial basis, he said adding that a plan was being devised to start the services of 70 seat planes after getting them on lease for making non functional airports as viable and functional.

With the induction of 70 seat planes, non functional airports could attract passengers, he added. He said he had devised a plan to make Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) as profitable.

This was not possible in four to six months period, however continuity of policies could ensure making the national carrier as profitable, he added. Saad Rafique said the government was planning to officially designate Sukkur and Dera Ismael Khan airports as international airports for earning reasonable profits. A new airport would be constructed Dera Ismael Khan. The runway of Quetta airport was also being upgraded,he added. (APP)