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Allama Iqbal Intl Airport

Allama Iqbal International Airport
Lahore International Airport
علامہ اقبال بین الاقوامی ہوائی اڈا
Airport type Public
Operator Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan
Serves Lahore
Location Punjab, Pakistan
Hub for Pakistan International Airlines
Elevation AMSL 698 ft / 213 m
Coordinates 31°31′17″N 74°24′09″E / 31.52139°N 74.4025°E / 31.52139; 74.4025
Direction Length Surface
ft m
18R/36L 9,514 2,900 Asphalt
18L/36R 11,024 3,310 Concrete

Allama Iqbal International Airport (IATA: LHE, ICAO: OPLA) (Punjabi, Urdu: علامہ اقبال بین الاقوامی ہوائی اڈا) is the second-largest civil airport in Pakistan, serving Lahore, the capital of the Punjab province. Previously known as the Lahore International Airport until the new terminal building was completed in 2003, it was renamed after Allama Sir Muhammad Iqbal, the Islamic poet-philosopher who was a major advocate for the creation of the state 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 kilometres from the centre of the city.

On March 5, 2010 The Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan released a tender for the expansion of the airport, the number of check in desks will be doubled from 24 to 48 as will the number of immigration counters from 10 to 20. The terminal will also be expanded and the area which was strategically kept aside for future expansion when the airport was built will be fully utilised.


At the time of the creation of Pakistan, Walton Airport was the main airport of the city. When PIA acquired jet-engined airliners such as the Boeing 720s, Walton was unable to handle the large aircraft. This meant that the Government decided to build a brand new airport which was inaugurated in 1962. It was commonly known as the "Lahore International Airport" and was able to handle aircraft as large as the Boeing 747.

Over the course of the next 25 years the demand for air travel rose. It meant that the government decided to build a new world class airport to meet the growing needs for the future and improve the facilities for its passengers since the old airport was becoming obsolete. In 2003, "Allama Iqbal International Airport" was inaugrated and is now the second largest airport in Pakistan. All flights were switched to the new airport and the old airport was passed onto the military. However, during the Hajj period, the old airport is used as a Hajj Terminal by the national carrier, PIA.


The Allama Iqbal International Airport fully decorated to celebrate the Independence Day of Pakistan
The Allama Iqbal International Airport fully decorated to celebrate the Independence Day of Pakistan

The International Departure lounge
The International Departure lounge

Pakistan International Airlines is a major airline that flies out of Lahore as the flag carrier of Pakistan and uses the airport as a hub only second to Jinnah International Airport. There is an increasing demand from private Pakistani airlines and international airlines who operate out of Lahore for domestic and international operations. Many airlines are increasing their frequency out of Lahore since the new airport is able to cater to the growing needs of overseas and domestic passengers.

On the inaugration of Allama Iqbal International Airport in 2003, the old terminal was converted to handle the influx of passengers for the annual pilgrimage of Hajj to Saudi Arabia. The terminal is known as the Hajj terminal and is only operational when traffic at the new terminal becomes constrainted. It is currently used by the national flag carrier, Pakistan International Airlines, however, negotiations are underway to allow private and international airlines to operate from the airport.

The brand new terminal includes many duty-free shops including restaurants, cafés, ice-cream parlours, confectionery shops, book and toy shops and souvenir shops. Nirala Sweets, a famous sweets shop, has also opened in the check-in halls at the airport. There are many flat screen televisions that show live flight times in the national languages, Urdu and official language, English. The airport has seven air-bridges that dock onto the aircraft during departures and arrivals. There are a total of 30 parking spaces. The airport can provide 32 parking spaces for commercial and jet aircraft.

Airport under construction in January, 2003.
Airport under construction in January, 2003.

A brand new runway was built during the construction of Allama Iqbal International. According to the CAA, Runway 36R/18L is 3,310 metres long, 46 metres wide whilst Runway 36L/18R is 2,900 metres long, 46 metres wide. Runway 1: Heading 18L/36R, 3 360m (11 023 ft), ICAO Cat. E, Aircraft size max: B747, ILS CAT II, Lighting: AFL System CAT-II available. Runway 2: Heading 18R/36L, 2 743m (8 999 ft), 55/F/C/X/T, ICAO Cat. D, Aircraft size max: A300, ILS CAT II, Lighting: SAL System available

In Pakistan, the use of the CIP lounge is available to only first and business class passengers. In order to enter the CIP lounge, passengers must be pre-issued an access card from check-in. The cost to gain access is USD 6 per passenger international or PKR 100 domestic. The CIP lounge has light savoury snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, specialty coffees/cappuccinos, satellite TV, audio entertainment, newspapers, magazines, telephones, fax facilities, and free wireless Internet.

A mobile phone advertisement in the baggage claim area
A mobile phone advertisement in the baggage claim area

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.. Shaheen Air International also carries out some of its aircraft maintenance in Lahore; however most airlines still use Karachi or Islamabad for most of their maintenance checks so this facility is presently somewhat limited at Lahore, although this is slated to change with the airport expansion project.

Due to the increase in air travel from the airport, the CAA decided to expand the terminal to meet future growth in air travel as well as ease congestion during peak travel times. On 31 July 2008, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) awarded the expansion project to the National Engineering Services Pakistan Limited (NESPAK). The project is estimated to be completed in two years. The project entails expansion of the immigration and customs hall as well as the international and domestic departure & arrival halls. The number of check-in counters will be also be increased from 24 to 48 and the number of immigration counters will be increased from 10 to 20.

Airlines and destinations

A PIA B747-367 departing
A PIA B747-367 departing

An Aero Asia B737-200 on finals
An Aero Asia B737-200 on finals

A Shaheen Air Boeing 737-200 being serviced at a remote stand
A Shaheen Air Boeing 737-200 being serviced at a remote stand

A PIA Fokker F27 with a Lufthansa Cargo MD-11F in the background
A PIA Fokker F27 with a Lufthansa Cargo MD-11F in the background

A PIA 737-300 on finals
A PIA 737-300 on finals
Airlines Destinations
Airblue Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Karachi, Muscat, Sharjah
Emirates Dubai
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi
Gulf Air Bahrain
Kuwait Airways Kuwait
Oman Air Muscat
Pakistan International Airlines Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Amsterdam, Bahrain, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Barcelona, Beijing-Capital, Bhawalpur, Chicago-O'Hare, Copenhagen, Dammam, Delhi, Dhaka, Doha, Dubai, Frankfurt, Glasgow-International, Hong Kong, Islamabad, Jeddah, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, London-Heathrow, Manchester, Milan-Malpensa, Multan, Muscat, Nawabshah, New York-JFK, Oslo-Gardemoen, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Peshawar, Quetta, Rahim Yar Khan, Riyadh, Sukkur, Tokyo-Narita, Toronto-Pearson
Qatar Airways Doha
Saudi Arabian Airlines Jeddah, Medina, Riyadh
Shaheen Air International Doha, Dubai, Karachi, Kuwait, Mashhad, Muscat
Thai Airways International Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi
Uzbekistan Airways Tashkent


Airlines Destinations
ACT Airlines Istanbul
Askari Aviation Islamabad
Atlas Air Dubai, Kabul
British Airways World Cargo operated by DHL International Aviation ME Bahrain, Leipzig
Expo Aviation Colombo
Falcon Express Dubai
Jade Cargo Frankfurt, Kolkata, Shenzhen
Maximus Air Cargo Abu Dhabi, Dubai
Polet Airlines Moscow
Qatar Airways Cargo Colombo, Doha
Royal Airlines Cargo Karachi
TCS Couriers Dubai, Islamabad, Karachi, London
Volga-Dnepr Ulyanovsk


Airlines Destinations
Askari Aviation Islamabad
EuroAtlantic Airways Lisbon
Royal Airlines Karachi
Schon Air Karachi


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

Awards and recognitions

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

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General Info
Country Pakistan
Time UTC+5
Latitude 31.521564
31° 31' 17.63" N
Longitude 74.403594
074° 24' 12.94" E
Elevation 712 feet
217 meters
Type Joint (Civil and Military)
Magnetic Variation 001° E (01/06)
Alternate Name LAHORE INTL
Near City Lahore
International Clearance Status Airport of Entry

ATIS 126.3

ID Dimensions Surface PCN ILS
18R/36L 9000 x 151 feet
2743 x 46 meters
18L/36R 11024 x 151 feet
3360 x 46 meters

Type ID Name Channel Freq Distance From Field Bearing From Navaid
VOR-DME LA LAHORE 074X 112.7 1.3 NM 006.5
NDB LA LAHORE - 268 1.6 NM 040.3

CAUTION Glider flying and lcl trng flt. Bird haz.
FUEL (NC-100LL, A1)

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The content above was published at in 2010.
We don't guarantee the information is fresh and accurate. The data may be wrong or outdated.
For more up-to-date information please refer to other sources.

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