FAISALABAD: New runway will be completed by October this year enabling Boeing 777 to land at Faisalabad International Airport, said Muhammad Anwar Zia Airport Manager. Addressing the business community at Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI) here on Thursday, he said that the air cargo complex was also under construction and 75% of work was expected to be completed before the runway becomes operational. He expressed satisfaction over the available passenger load and air cargo and said that 102 domestic and international flights were successfully operating from this airport. He said that only small planes could land at the old runway which prompted authorities to construct a new runway to accommodate wide-bodied planes in view of the projected increase of passengers and air cargo from this city and its catchment areas. He said that on the demand of FCCI, work on the construction of air cargo was launched and hopefully it would be completed during this calendar year. He said that a study was conducted to evaluate the passenger load before contacting international airlines. At that time the available passenger load was only 70,000 which jumped to 5 lac and is now expected to cross the mark of 8 lakh within the next few years. He said that a team from head office was expected to visit Faisalabad very soon and a meeting with the president FCCI would help to expedite the work on this project. He said that many new airlines are also interested to start domestic and international flights from this airport which would further enhance the economic importance of Faisalabad city. Atif Munir Sheikh, President FCCI said that small planes have limited capacity to accommodate air cargo and we must make proper arrangements to facilitate exporters to dispatch their air shipments from Faisalabad instead of routing these through Lahore or Sialkot. He assured the airport manager that FCCI would interact with PTEA, PHMA and APBUMA to calculate the exact quantity of available air cargo which would be shared with the concerned authorities. Zafar Iqbal Chairman FIEDMC also participated in this meeting and said that the industrial units established in M3 and Allama Iqbal Industrial Estates could also use Faisalabad airport for their air shipments.