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Allama Iqbal International Airport

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Allama Iqbal International Airport

Allama Iqbal International Airport
علامہ اقبال بین الاقوامی ہوائی اڈہ
Airport type Public
Operator Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan
Serves Lahore
Location Punjab, Pakistan
Hub for Pakistan International Airlines , Pakistan Aviators & Aviation
Elevation AMSL 698 ft / 213 m
Location of airport in Lahore
Location of airport in Lahore
LHE is located in Pakistan
Location of airport in Pakistan
Direction Length Surface
ft m
18R/36L 9,514 2,900 Asphalt
18L/36R 11,024 3,310 Concrete
Statistics (2014)
Passengers 7,665,000
Movements 56,358
Cargo tonnage 68,745
Source: World Aero Data DAFIF[1][2]
Statistics from the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority[3]

Allama Iqbal International Airport, (Urdu: علامہ اقبال بین الاقوامی ہوائی اڈہ) (ICAO: OPLA) is the second largest civil airport in Pakistan, serving Lahore, the capital of Punjab province as well a large portion of the travellers from the Punjab province. Originally known as Lahore International Airport, it was renamed in after one of the pioneers that led to the creation of Pakistan.

The airport currently has three terminals: the Allama Iqbal terminal, the Hajj terminal and a cargo terminal. The airport is located about 15 km from the centre of the city. A total of 3,192,904 passengers travelled through Allama Iqbal International Airport in 2009 making it the second busiest airport in Pakistan.[4]


  • History 1
    • Post independence 1.1
    • AIIA Terminal 1.2
    • Expansion Plans 1.3
  • Structure 2
  • Airlines and destinations 3
    • Passenger 3.1
    • Cargo 3.2
  • Statistics 4
  • Awards and recognitions 5
  • Incidents and accidents 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • Notes 9
  • External links 10


Post independence

At the time of the Independence of Pakistan, Walton Airport was the main airport of Lahore. When Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) acquired its first Boeing 720 Walton was unable to handle the load of a jet aircraft. The Government of Pakistan decided to build a brand new airport, which opened in 1962.[5] The airport had a specifically built runway and apron to handle aircraft up to the Boeing 747. This allowed Lahore to open its gates to the world.[6] PIA initiated direct flights to Dubai and London via Karachi.

AIIA Terminal

Over the course of the next twenty five years the demand for air travel rose. It meant that the government had to build a new airport to meet the growing needs for of the region. In March 2003, a new terminal was inaugurated by 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 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 $70m 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 systems implementation. Airsys ATM and Thales ATM were responsible for the fabrication and installation of the air bridges at the new terminal.[7]

In 2008, the national flag carrier of the UAE, Etihad Airways, opened a dedicated aircraft line maintenance facility in Lahore. The facility is equipped with the latest technology and equipment, which will be used for all day-to-day technical line maintenance on Etihad aircraft including hydraulic structural and instrument checks.[8]

Expansion Plans

On 3 March 2014, the Prime Minister approved the expansion plans for the extension of the AIIA terminal.[9] On 8 February 2015, the Hajj terminal was completely renovated with new check in, lounges and security facilities in anticipation of the Hajj season.[10]

At the inauguration of Multan International Airport in 2015, the Prime Minister, announced that both sides of the terminal will be extended. The airport will have a separate terminal for domestic passengers.[11] It was also announced that a new wide body aircraft hangar would be built at the airport to accommodate aircraft as large as the Boeing 777.[12]


PIA Boeing 747
Saudia Boeing 747
PIA, Airblue & Uzbekistan
Shaheen Air Boeing 737

LHE is fitted with all the essentials for domestic and international flights. The information below is correct as of April 2015 in regard to the AIIA Terminal.[13]

  • Separate domestic & international departure lounges. (Capacity 1,200 passengers each).
  • Separate mens and women prayer rooms in both domestic & international lounges.
  • One business class lounge (international departures).
  • PTCL & Card-operated telephones (PCOs) are available within the lounges.
  • Several duty-free shops including food and drink counters.
  • Free internet Wi-Fi access.
  • The Elbow Room (Coffee & Bakery snacks)
  • Traditional Pakistani Sweets counters
  • 7 air bridges with PSS & APSS facilities.
  • 23 remote parking stands.
  • Two parallel runways one concrete the other asphalt.
  • Runway 36R/18L: 3,310 meters long, 46 meters wide. Max capacity: Boeing 747.
  • Runway 36L/18R: 2,900 meters long, 46 meters wide. Max capacity: Airbus A300.
  • Parallel taxi way for rapid entry/exit.
  • Instrument Landing System Category-II. Tender issued for CAT-III.[14]
  • Navigational Aids: DVOR/DME/TDME, NDB, OM, MM
Airport Services
  • Pakistan State Oil provide 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 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).
  • ATMs provided by MCB and Habib Bank Limited. The MCB ATM is linked to MasterCard; the Habib Bank is linked to VISA. Both are linked to China UnionPay and to the domestic 1LINK and MNET switches.
  • Nirala Sweets and Dunkin Donuts counters located landside of terminal.
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

Allama Iqbal International Airport connects Lahore with 44 cities worldwide (including domestic destinations) by both passenger and cargo flights.


Airlines Destinations
Air Arabia Ras al Khaimah
Airblue Abu Dhabi, Dubai-International, Karachi, Jeddah,[15] Medina, Muscat, Rahim Yar Khan, Riyadh, Sharjah, Sialkot
Air Indus Bahawalpur, Karachi, Quetta
Al-Naser Airlines Najaf
Emirates Dubai-International
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi
Gulf Air Bahrain
Kuwait Airways Kuwait
Oman Air Muscat
Pakistan International Airlines Abu Dhabi, Bahawalpur, Bahrain, Beijing-Capital, Copenhagen, Dammam, Delhi, Dubai-International, Faisalabad, Islamabad, Jeddah, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, London-Heathrow, Manchester, Milan-Malpensa, Multan, Muscat, New York-JFK, Oslo-Gardermøen, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Quetta, Rahim Yar Khan, Riyadh, Sukkur, Tokyo-Narita, Toronto-Pearson
Princely Jets Charter: Dubai-International, Muscat, Jeddah , Karachi
Qatar Airways Doha
Saudia Jeddah, Riyadh
Shaheen Air Abu Dhabi, Dammam, Dubai-International, Guangzhou (begins 1 November 2015),[16] Jeddah, Karachi, Kuwait, Mashhad, Muscat, Riyadh, Quetta
SriLankan Airlines
operated by Mihin Lanka
Taban Air Mashhad[17]
Thai Airways Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi
Turkish Airlines Istanbul-Atatürk
UTair Aviation Charter: Rostov-on-Don


Airlines Destinations
Etihad Cargo Abu Dhabi[18]
FitsAir Colombo
DHL International Aviation ME Abu Dhabi, Bagram, Bahrain[19]
Lufthansa Cargo
operated by AeroLogic
Maximus Air Cargo Abu Dhabi, Dubai-International
MNG Airlines Abu Dhabi, Kabul
Qatar Airways Cargo Colombo, Doha
Royal Airlines Cargo Karachi
Star Air Aviation Karachi
TCS Couriers Dubai-International, Islamabad, Karachi
Turkish Airlines Cargo Istanbul, Bangkok


The following table provides details of the major traffic flows out of Lahore interms of passenger numbers, aircraft movements, cargo and mail. The results were collected by the Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan:[21]

Year Aircraft movements Passengers (Intl & Domestic) Cargo handled (M. Tons) Mail handled (M. Tons)
2001 26,518 2,600,000 52,612 N/A
2005 27,716 5,157,354 N/A N/A
2006 43,775 3,189,161 79,894 680.16
2007 39,634 3,091,590 74,664 1,683.79
2008 49,491 3,192,904 75,965 1,113.41

Awards and recognitions

  • Allama Iqbal International Airport was ranked the world's leading airport by Singapore Airlines in service performance in 2006.[22]

Incidents and accidents

  • During 2000 an Indian Airlines jet which was hijacked in Nepal by elements sympathetic to the militants fighting Indian rule in Kashmir. The aircraft landed at Lahore International Airport for a few hours and left for Kabul, Afganistan.[23]

See also


  1. ^ Airport information for OPLA at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.Source: DAFIF.
  2. ^ Airport information for LHE at Great Circle Mapper. Source: DAFIF (effective Oct. 2006).
  3. ^
  4. ^ – Airport Statistics
  5. ^ March 27, 1961 News Report - Lahore to Have a New Airport
  6. ^ Pictorial history of Lahore Airport.
  7. ^ Allama Iqbal International Terminal Under Construction
  8. ^ Etihad Airways opens dedicated aircraft line maintenance facility in Lahore Pakistan
  9. ^ PM approves plan for PIA’s revival
  10. ^ Lahore Airport Hajj Lounge after upgradation
  11. ^ PM launches Civil Aviation Policy; directs expansion of Lahore Airport
  12. ^ Aftab Gilani Maintenance,Repair,Overhaul facility for Boeing 777&A-320 will be established at Lahore through tax free investments
  13. ^ The official website to AIIA
  14. ^ PIA fogbound losses. Lahore to be upgraded to CAT III
  15. ^
  16. ^ Shahhen to Guangzhou schedule
  17. ^ Taban Air launch Lahore in April 2015, once weekly service (in Persian)
  18. ^ Etihad Cargo schedule
  19. ^ DHL and Etihad Cargo increase connectivity through the Middle East
  20. ^
  21. ^ Statistical Information of CAA Pakistan CAA Pakistan, assessed 8 March 2009
  22. ^ Allama Iqbal International Airport Tops In Services
  23. ^ Indian Airlines Airbus A300 (registration unknown) suffered an accident Lahore Airport (LHE), Pakistan 5 July 1984


  • ^a Pakistan International's flight from New York to Lahore is nonstop, however the flight from Lahore to New York makes a stopover in Manchester (UK), where the airline has fifth freedom rights to board passengers to New York.

External links

  • Allama Iqbal International Airport
  • Accident history for LHE at Aviation Safety Network
  • Aeronautical chart for OPLA at SkyVector
  • Current weather for OPLA at NOAA/NWS
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