The district of Rahim Yar Khan in Punjab, surrounded by the famous Cholistan desert, is quite popular among the members of the royal families of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for its hunting grounds. Therefore, the district, as well as its namesake capital city, shares a strong connection with the Arab country, especially Abu Dhabi. A prominent example of this association is Sheikh Zayed International Airport, which is named after Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, a former ruler of Abu Dhabi who is also the founding father of the UAE.
This piece is a comprehensive guide on Sheikh Zayed International Airport, aka Rahim Yar Khan Airport. It will help you learn all about the airport’s history, its importance and surrounding areas.
So, let’s begin.
Sheikh Zayed International Airport
The city of Rahim Yar Khan is the industrial hub of the district as it’s home to a large number of factories and cotton, flour and sugar mills. Moreover, the city is also home to the factories of multinational companies such as Unilever and Coca-Cola. Therefore, people from surrounding tehsils often relocate to Rahim Yar Khan seeking better employment opportunities.
Even though Rahim Yar Khan isn’t a teeming metropolis like Lahore or Islamabad, the urban lifestyle of its residents is second to none. The city’s authorities, as well as private entities, have made sure people living in Rahim Yar Khan have access to opportunities and lifestyle as in any other major city.
The city enjoys both road and off-road modes of transport, which include highways, rail and airways. This helps connect Rahum Yar Khan with other cities of Pakistan as well as with other countries. Speaking of the city’s airways link with national and international cities, it’s important to mention here that the status of Rahim Yar Khan Airport was changed from domestic to international in 2009. Prior to this change, the airport only entertained domestic flights to Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.
History Of Rahim Yar Khan Airport
Unlike the airports in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, the terminal building of Sheikh Zayed International Airport in Rahim Yar Khan is not too grand but it’s fully capable of catering to passengers, even during emergencies. In 1966, from March to July, the airport was only entertaining PIA flights on an old bricked runway. However, just seven years later, the airport played a key role in providing logistics support to flood victims in 1973. That’s how impressive and consistent the transformation of Sheikh Zayed International Airport has been over the years.
After that, the government felt the need to build a proper runway that could land domestic flights without any hazards. In 1990, a new runway was constructed and the first flight, a proving flight, landed on 10th February 1990. In the year 1998, the new terminal building was inaugurated which gave a fresh and brand-new identity to Rahim Yar Khan airport. Although the periodic upgrades to the runway are timely made, however, a major upgrade was made to the runway in 2003 to land a B-747 which is a large and long-range airliner and cargo aircraft.
Ever since the runway was upgraded for a Boeing 747, Rahim Yar Khan Airport has been hosting flights of Arab royal families every year. Finally in 2009, when it received the status of an international airport, the city’s first international flight took off to Abu Dhabi in the UAE, on April 4 of that year.
Now, Sheikh Zayed International Airport successfully operates Hajj flights to Saudi Arabia every year.
Facilities At Rahim Yar Khan Airport
The terminal building of Rahim Yar Khan Airport is built on an area of 28,000 square feet along with a parking space for 120 small- and medium-sized vehicles. The terminal building is ground plus one floor above which is the tower from where air traffic controllers provide assistance to aircraft.
The building also features a passenger waiting lounge equipped with all the facilities to ensure the comfort of travellers waiting for their flight. The airport also has a firefighting rescue unit always on standby for any unfortunate events that may happen. It is a fire category 7 unit with 2 vehicles present on-site with the capability of storing 12,100 litres of water with a discharge capacity of 5,300 litres per minute. Moreover, the security of the airport is maintained by Airport Security Force (ASF), the staff of which is present at all entry and exit checkpoints of the terminal. So, rest assured, the terminal is fully capable of rescue operations and the safety of the passengers and visitors.
The runway of Sheikh Zayed International Airport is 3,000 meters in length and 45 meters in width and has parking bays for four medium body aircrafts and two wide-body aircrafts. To guarantee that no flight operation is interrupted, the terminal also has a backup electricity generator with a capacity to power the entire building.
Location of the airport
The airport was built on a sought-after location just a few kilometres away from the main city. The city has developed at a very rapid pace in the past few years and with a proper road network and infrastructure, the distances to various places within the city have shortened even more.
As is the case with almost every other road running near an airport in any city in the country, Sheikh Zayed International Airport in Rahim Yar Khan is located near Airport Road. This route is lined with small villages, fields and the newly developed H.H Sheikh Khalifa Park & Auditorium. Just a few minutes’ drive away from the airport is Canal Road, which provides easy access to residential areas as well as Khanpur Adda, a popular and old bus station in the city. The road further leads to Shahi Road, the business hub of the city where you can find each and every commodity.
As the capital city of an important district in Punjab, the second-largest province by area in Pakistan, Rahim Yar Khan is very well planned in terms of infrastructure. In fact, just in February, the Punjab government released funds for various development projects at the tehsil level. As part of that initiative, PKR 755.72 million has been transferred to Rahim Yar Khan. Similarly, the city’s construction sector is also thriving and more developers are introducing exciting new projects in the city.
Case in point: Etihad Garden in Rahim Yar Khan.
About Etihad Garden
Merely 1.7 kilometers away from Sheikh Zayed International Airport, Etihad Garden is Rahim Yar Khan’s first gated community which spans 1,780 kanal. Featuring residential and commercial plots, Etihad Garden’s modern community living offers the luxury of a home close to an airport, railway station, hospital and the city’s top educational institutions.
Most homeowners prefer living in a gated community as these developments offer family-friendly features. The city’s first and only McDonald’s, wide roads, parks and kids play areas, entertainment hub and only a few kilometres away from Sadiq Club. These are some of the prominent features of Etihad Garden.
This brings us to the end of our guide on Rahim Yar Khan Airport. To leave your valuable feedback, you can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep following Zameen Blog for the latest updates in the real estate market of Pakistan.