GILGIT: The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced that Skardu airport is all prepared to handle international flights after its up-gradation and elevation to the global standard.
In a tweet, the CAA informed that the airport has been revamped in line with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision to boost tourism in the country. Initially, the operations will be initiated under Visual Flight Rules (VRF) only.
Under the VFR, an aircraft is intended to operate in visual meteorological conditions (i.e. nice and clear weather). Clouds, heavy precipitation, low visibility, and other adverse weather conditions should be avoided under the VFR.
The up-gradation of the airport had been announced by Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan in January 2020. This included the construction of a new runway, new terminal building, apron and provision of other facilities to cater to international flight operations.
Located at an altitude of over 7,000 feet, Skardu airport is listed among the world’s highest altitude airports.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia will increase the number of flights arriving from Pakistan, Saudi Ambassador Al-Malki said, as the first flight departed for Jeddah after Saudi authorities lifted a ban on direct entry to the kingdom.
“We will increase the number of these flights since there are more than 300,000 Pakistanis waiting to return to Saudi Arabia,” Al-Malki added. This is a great development especially for Pakistanis who were waiting to go back to the kingdom, he further said.
Saudi Arabia’s ban on direct travel from Pakistan and several other countries came to an end on Wednesday as the kingdom continues to relax travel restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Saudi Arabia suspended all flights to and from the kingdom on March 14, 2020, after the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic.
Entry to the kingdom by air, land and sea resumed on January 3, 2021, though a direct entry ban was imposed on certain countries of concern the following month.