In a significant operation at Islamabad International Airport, the Airport Security Force (ASF) has successfully thwarted a major drug smuggling attempt. Authorities seized heroin valued at approximately Rs. 70 million from a passenger who was preparing to board a flight bound for Istanbul. The accused had concealed 5 kilograms and 448 grams of drugs in their luggage.
This operation sheds light on the ongoing challenges faced by airport security in combating drug trafficking, and the swift action by the ASF has prevented a potentially disastrous situation.
In other aviation-related news, the federal cabinet has decided to postpone its plans for outsourcing airport operations. This decision follows a comprehensive presentation by the Aviation Division to the Cabinet on August 29, 2023, regarding the outsourcing of Islamabad International Airport. The presentation highlighted the potential benefits of private sector involvement, taking inspiration from successful international examples.
Efforts to outsource major airports in Pakistan, including Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi, have been underway for several years. The government aims to utilize the framework of the Public-Private Partnership Authority Act 2017 to select private partners responsible for various aspects of airport management, with eventual control returning to the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA).
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) was appointed as the transaction advisor to guide this ambitious project, marking a significant step toward improving airport services and attracting investment in the country’s aviation sector.