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Jinnah Intl Airport

Jinnah International Airport
Quaid-e-Azam International Airport
قاۂد اعظم بین الاقوامی ہواگاہ
Airport type Public
Owner/Operator Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan
Serves Karachi
Location Sindh, Pakistan
Hub for Airblue
Pakistan International Airlines
Shaheen Air
Elevation AMSL 100 ft / 30 m
Coordinates 24°54′24″N 067°09′39″E / 24.90667°N 67.16083°E / 24.90667; 67.16083
Website www.karachiairport.com.pk
Direction Length Surface
m ft
07R/25L 3,400 11,155 Concrete
07L/25R 3,200 10,500 Concrete
Statistics (2007)
Passengers 6,081,448
Cargo handled 169,124 M.Tons
Sources: DAFIF
Jinnah International Airport
Location of Jinnah International in Sindh, Pakistan

Jinnah International Airport (Sindhi: جيڻا بین الاقوامی ہواگاہ) (IATA: KHI, ICAO: OPKC) (previously Quaid-e-Azam International Airport قاۂد اعظم بین الاقوامی ہواگاہ) is Pakistan's largest international and domestic airport. It is located in Karachi, Sindh, and its passenger terminal is also commonly known as the جناح ٹرمینل Jinnah Terminal. The airport is named after Crown attorney/statesman Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan and its first Governor General, who was popularly known as the Quaid-e-Azam ("Great Leader").

The airport provides primary hub for the flag carrier, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Shaheen Air International, and Airblue as well as many other private airlines. The airport is equipped with aircraft engineering and overhauling facilities including the Ispahani Hangar for wide-body aircraft.


Karachi Airport in 1943 during World War II
Karachi Airport in 1943 during World War II

During the 1940s there was a large black coloured hangar (also locally known as Kala Chapra) at the site of Karachi Airport, constructed for the British R101 Airship. Only three hangars were ever built in the world to dock and hangar the R101 airships. However, the R101 airship never arrived in Karachi (then part of the British Raj) as it crashed early in its journey in France. This hangar was so huge that aircraft often used it as a visual marker while attempting VFR landings at Karachi. Over the years, the hangar became known as the landmark of Karachi, until it was torn down by order of then-President Ayub Khan in the 1960s.

During World War II, Karachi Airport was a major transhipment base for United States Army Air Force units and equipment being used by Tenth Air Force in eastern India and Burma, as well as for Fourteenth Air Force in China. Several operational bomber and fighter units flew into Karachi for short organizational periods prior to their deployment. Air Technical Service Command had extensive facilities where aircraft were received, assembled and tested prior to being flown to their combat units at forward airfields. It also functioned as a major maintenance and supply depot for both air forces. In addition, Air Transport Command flew numerous cargo and passenger flights to the Middle East and to points within India and China.

The airport facilities were further expanded in the 1980s to Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 respectively. The present day infrastructure of Jinnah International Complex is a result of an expansion programme carried out in 1994. Today, the new Jinnah Terminal handles both domestic and international flights, whereas Terminal 2 is now dedicated to Hajj operations.

PIA aircrafts at Karachi airport in the 1980s
PIA aircrafts at Karachi airport in the 1980s

Karachi was once a much busier airport. Between the 1960s and 1980s it was an online station of several major airlines of the world including British Airways, Interflug, TAROM, Alitalia, JAT Yugoslavia Airlines, Aeroflot, Philippine Airlines, Nigeria Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, EgyptAir, East African Airways, Kenya Airways, Air France, Qantas, Pan Am, Royal Jordanian, Libyan Arab Airlines, Japan Airlines, Syrian Arab Airlines, Middle East Airlines, Lufthansa, Swissair, and SAS. However, due to the emergence of Dubai's airport on the world map, increased usage of longer haul aircraft, and the poor political climate of Karachi during the 1990s, several airlines discontinued their service to the airport.

In the past couple of years Karachi has seen a reversal in fortunes. The dwindling numbers of international airlines have stabilised and whilst there hasn't been a marked increase in the number of airlines flying in to Karachi, some have either increased the number of flights or resumed their old operations, either online or via codeshare service.

Economic factors may be partly responsible for the upswing in activity at the airport. As industrial growth in Karachi and the rest of Pakistan expands, some European and Asian carriers are mooting resumption of services to Jinnah International.


Front view of Jinnah International
Front view of Jinnah International

Airside area
Airside area

A coffee kiosk at the international departure lounge
A coffee kiosk at the international departure lounge

Aerial view of Karachi Airport taken in 2010
Aerial view of Karachi Airport taken in 2010

In fiscal year 2007-2008, over 6.6 million passengers used Jinnah International Airport. 249,283 aircraft movements were registered.

Jinnah International Airport in Karachi has always been the largest aviation facility in Pakistan. It is the primary hub of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). All other Pakistani airlines also use Jinnah International Airport as their main hub. These include Air Blue and Shaheen Air International, as well as several charter carriers.

The building is linked via connecting corridors to two satellites, each having a provision of eight passenger-loading bridges. The eastern satellite is devoted exclusively to handling international operations. The western satellite is used for domestic operations, as well as some international operations. This is achieved through a flexible arrangement of gates. The two satellites supplement the departure lounges of the terminal building and also provide shopping facilities and snack counters.

The Jinnah Terminal was completed in 1992 at a cost of US $100 million - at the time the most expensive civil construction project in Pakistan. NESPAK (National Engineering Services Pakistan) and Airconsult (Frankfurt, Germany) were responsible for the architecture and planning of the terminal. Sogea Construction, a French company, was the contractor. Mukhtar Husain (NESPAK) was the Chief Architect for the new terminal.

In Karachi, the CIP Lounge can be used by all first and business class passengers on all outbound flights. Private banking clients of MCB Bank Ltd and United Bank Ltd can also use the lounge on complimentary basis under contract to CAA as part of their benefits package. Only passengers who have been pre-issued an airline card from the check-in desk can enter the lounge. Other passengers who wish to use the lounge may do so upon payment of charges of USD 6.00 (international) or PKR 100/- (domestic). The lounge features light savoury snacks and non-alcoholic beverages, satellite TV, audio entertainment, newspapers, magazines, telephones, fax facilities, wireless Internet, and mobile charging points. There are also two McDonald's kiosks located on-site at the airport. airblue has also introduced their own lounge in the international terminal of the airport.

There are a number of banks that passengers can use at the airport including Askari Bank, Barclays, Citibank, Habib Bank, National Bank of Pakistan, MCB Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, Standard Chartered Bank, and United Bank; which offer ATMs, foreign exchange facilities, traveler's cheque encashment, and personal banking. Private banking clients of Barclays worldwide (high net-worth individuals) now have their dedicated lounge as well. It features a hot buffet, speciality coffees, multimedia entertainment, shower and spa facility, and concierge service.

The airport is also where the majority of PIA's maintenance network is located, although some of its maintenance work also takes place at Benazir Bhutto International Airport, Rawalpindi. There are several hangars at the airport; the largest being the Ispahani Hangar (named after Mirza Ahmad Ispahani, the first chairman of PIA) that can accommodate two Boeing 747s and one narrow body airliner (e.g. Boeing 737) at one time. On 15 February 2006, the first major overhaul of a Boeing 777-200ER aircraft (known as "C" check) was done at Ispahani Hangar. Most of the PIA aircraft are checked and regulated at the aircraft hangars in Karachi. The PIA maintenance also check other airline aircraft in Karachi such as Philippine Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and Air Universal.

The head office of the Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan is located in Terminal 1. Pakistan International Airlines has its head office on the grounds of the airport.

Runways and Parking

The airport has two runways, one is 3,200m and other is 3,400m long. Runways, 25R/07L and 25L/07R, each 46 m (250 ft) wide. The runways have capacity to handle 15 flights per hour. Runway 07L/25R is equipped with ILS to guide landing aircraft safely under very poor weather conditions and also allowing planes to land in low visibility conditions, such as fog. The taxiway able to handle 12 aircrafts at a moment while parking area for aircrafts is 266,000 sq meters where 42 aircrafts can be parked and 12 with contact gates. In addition, there is remote parking bay for 30 aircrafts.

Terminals, airlines and destinations

Jinnah Airport has one main terminal, divided into two concourses:

  • The Jinnah East Satellite Concourse, used for international flights
  • The Jinnah West Satellite Concourse, used for domestic flights

A PIA Boeing 747-300 at the Domestic Satellite
A PIA Boeing 747-300 at the Domestic Satellite

A leased MNG Airlines Boeing 737-200 aircraft being prepared for a hajj flight, 2006
A leased MNG Airlines Boeing 737-200 aircraft being prepared for a hajj flight, 2006

airblue Airbus A320-200 taxing out to the runway
airblue Airbus A320-200 taxing out to the runway


Jinnah International Airport

Jinnah International Airport - The Maintenance side and Ispahani Hangar.
Click to enlarge

Jinnah International Airport

Jinnah International Airport - Parking Lot at Jinnah terminal
Click to enlarge

Airlines Destinations Concourse
Air Arabia Sharjah East
Airblue Dubai East
Airblue Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar West
Air China Beijing-Capital, Chengdu East
Biman Bangladesh Airlines Dhaka East
Cathay Pacific Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Hong Kong East
Emirates Dubai East
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi East
Flydubai Dubai East
GMG Airlines Abu Dhabi, Dhaka, Dubai East
Gulf Air Bahrain East
Iran Air Tehran-Imam Khomeini East
Iraqi Airways Baghdad, Bahrain, Basra, Najaf East
Malaysia Airlines Dubai, Kuala Lumpur East
Oman Air Muscat East
Pakistan International Airlines Bahawalpur, Dalbandin, Dera Ghazi Khan, Dera Ismail Khan, Faisalabad, Gwadar, Islamabad, Lahore, Moenjodaro, Multan, Panjgur, Peshawar, Quetta, Rahim Yar Khan, Sialkot, Sukkur, Turbat, Zhob West
Pakistan International Airlines Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Barcelona, Beijing-Capital, Chicago-O'Hare, Dammam, Delhi, Dhaka, Doha, Dubai, Istanbul-Atatürk, Jeddah, Kathmandu, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, London-Heathrow, Manchester, Mumbai, Muscat, New York-JFK, Riyadh, Tokyo-Narita, Toronto-Pearson East
Qatar Airways Doha East
Saudi Arabian Airlines Dammam, Jeddah, Medina, Riyadh East
Shaheen Air International Dubai East
Shaheen Air International Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar West
SriLankan Airlines Colombo East
Thai Airways International Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Muscat East
Turkish Airlines Istanbul-Atatürk East

Cargo terminal

A Saudi Arabian Airlines Boeing 747-412 during takeoff from Karachi
A Saudi Arabian Airlines Boeing 747-412 during takeoff from Karachi

Antonov An-225 parked at Jinnah International, Cargo terminal
Antonov An-225 parked at Jinnah International, Cargo terminal
Airlines Destinations
Askari Aviation Islamabad, Lahore
British Airways World Cargo operated by DHL International Aviation ME Bahrain, London
Cargolux Luxembourg
DHL International Aviation ME Bahrain
Eurex Cargo Istanbul
Falcon Express Cargo Airlines Dubai
Phoenix Aviation Bishkek, Sharjah
Qatar Airways Cargo Doha
Phoenix Aviation Bishkek, Sharjah
Royal Airlines Cargo Lahore, Islamabad
Shaheen Air International Dubai
Sri Lankan Airlines operated by Expo Aviation Colombo (seasonal)
Midex Airlines Al Ain
TCS Courier Dubai, Islamabad, Lahore, London
ULS Airlines Cargo Istanbul

Ground transportation

Taxi service is available to the airport from all points of Karachi, while bus routes are also available to the airport.

Accidents and incidents

  • On 14 August 1959, Vickers Viscount AP-AJE of Pakistan International Airlines crashed at Karachi International Airport while attempting an overshoot with two engines inoperative on a training flight. Two of the three people on board were killed.
  • On 19 August 1980, Saudia Flight 163 a Lockheed L-1011 Tristar flew from Karachi to Riyadh for its first leg. When the aircraft started its second leg to Jeddah, a fire developed. The plane landed, and all 287 Passengers & 14 Crew on board died from the fire.
  • On 5 September 1986 a Pan American World Airways Boeing 747-121 named Clipper Empress of the Seas, operating as Pan Am Flight 73, was hijacked by Palestinian gunmen posing as airport officials upon arrival from Bombay, India. 20 people were killed when the gunmen opened fire on the passengers as commandos prepared to storm the airplane whilst still on the ground.
  • On 5 July 2010, a Malaysia Airlines cargo plane bound for Afghanistan made an emergency landing at the airport after developing a technical fault.
  • On 28 July 2010, Airblue Flight 202, a domestic flight from Karachi to Islamabad operated by Airbus A321 AP-BJB, crashed into wooded and mountainous terrain near the destination airport. All 152 persons on board were killed.

The above content comes from Wikipedia and is published under free licenses – click here to read more.

General Info
Country Pakistan
Time UTC+5
Latitude 24.906547
24° 54' 23.57" N
Longitude 67.160797
067° 09' 38.87" E
Elevation 100 feet
30 meters
Type Civil
Magnetic Variation 000° E (01/06)
Alternate Name KARACHI INTL
Near City Karachi
International Clearance Status Airport of Entry

ATIS 126.7

ID Dimensions Surface PCN ILS
07R/25L 11155 x 151 feet
3400 x 46 meters
07L/25R 10500 x 151 feet
3200 x 46 meters

Type ID Name Channel Freq Distance From Field Bearing From Navaid
VOR-DME KC KARACHI 058X 112.1 At Field -
NDB KC KARACHI - 271 At Field -

Fuel Jet A1, without icing nhibitor.

100/130 MIL Spec, low lead, aviation gasoline (BLUE)

A-GEAR Acft A-G barrier net assembly instl 328' (100m) before Rwy 25R thld, 6.6' abv gnd.
CAUTION Lgtd const cranes 350' aprx 0.7 NM SW thld Rwy 25R. Small afld with Rwy 08-26 is2.5 NM SW of afld.
FUEL (NC-100LL, A1)
MISC Ldg fees.
RSTD Rwy 07L-25R clsd 0400-0600Z Mon, Wed, Sat due maint.

Thanks to: www.worldaerodata.com

The content above was published at Airports-Worldwide.com in 2010.
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