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Pakistan Air Force moves into former Islamabad airport

15 May 2019
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The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has taken over Islamabad's former Benazir Bhutto International Airport, located on the outskirts of the adjacent city of Rawalpindi. PAF Base Nur Khan, which had previously shared the runway and taxiways with the airport, is now responsible for the large passenger terminal and the adjacent ramp where the airliners once parked.

Il-78 aircraft have now moved onto the ramp of Pakistan's former Benazir Bhutto International Airport, which has now become part of PAF Base Nur Khan. (Alan Warnes)Il-78 aircraft have now moved onto the ramp of Pakistan's former Benazir Bhutto International Airport, which has now become part of PAF Base Nur Khan. (Alan Warnes)

The large apron is now home to No 10 Squadron's four Il-78 multirole tanker transport aircraft, which can now taxi to the runway without having to manoeuvre around the PAF's other aircraft. In the near future the PAF's passenger terminal, which is currently housed inside a small building in the base's complex, will also be relocated.

There are several shelter areas at the airport that are used for drills or high levels of alert. During the recent stand-off with India, known locally as Operation 'Swift Retort', a detachment of PAF JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft were deployed to the base to defend Islamabad.

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