RAWALPINDI: An ongoing, intermittent spell of rain in the twin cities seems to have been too much for the roof of the Islamabad International Airport (IIA) which started dripping once again on Wednesday.
Water started falling from several spots in the ceiling of the arrival and departure lounges of domestic and international flights, causing problems for not only passengers but the airport authorities as well, laying bare the quality of the Rs105 billion airport’s construction.
After winter rains in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi for the last couple of days, pools of water could be seen collected on the airport floor on Wednesday while the airport staff was seen scrambling to cover expensive electronic scanning machines with large plastic sheets to protect the equipment from water damage. The staff had also placed buckets at points where water was dripping from the roof.
Rainwater also inundated the concourse hall of IIA as well.
When contacted, a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Division spokesperson told The Express Tribune that teams were working to patch the leaks under the supervision of the planning director.
He assured that work on permanently fixing the issue will commence soon.
The roof of the airport had started to leak in the first monsoon rains after it formally started operating in May 2018.
Videos of rainwater cascading from the airport’s roof had subsequently gone viral in June 2018. The CAA, at the time, had clarified that this was an open meet and greet place and that the actual roof of the airport was intact.
Then in August 2018, the IIA was again flooded after a heavy downpour, exposing massive construction flaws in the then newly-inaugurated building.
The then-chief justice had taken suo moto notice of rainwater flooding the airport. During one such hearing in August 2018, he had directed the authorities to look into the IIA’s design and make the necessary amendments to prevent this from happening again.
However, incumbent Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed observed that the way IIA had been constructed, it could collapse any day