Pakistan's New Islamabad International airport (NIAA) is set to begin operations on 3 May.

The airport was initially due to start operations on 20 April, but the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority tells FlightGlobal that additional tests and trials for systems reliability and safety were needed to be carried out.

In the initial stage, NIAA is expected to have a handling capacity of nine million passengers annually, before growing to its maximum handling capacity of 25 million passengers annually "in a few years."

It will also have a two-runway system, capable of handling aircraft up to the size of an Airbus A380.

While the new airport will eventually replace the existing Benazir Bhutto International airport, located in the town of Rawalpindi, PCAA adds "studies are underway" on moving the existing operations to the new airport.

The New Islamabad International airport is located approximately 28.5km southwest of Islamabad.

Source: Cirium Dashboard