Allama Iqbal International AirportPakistan Lahore
Allama Iqbal International Airport 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 after Allama Iqbal, 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.
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. 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. PIA initiated direct flights to Dubai and London via Karachi.
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.
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