As massive portions of the fully functional Islamabad International Airport’s (IIAP) ceiling falls to the ground in a new video circulating across all social media platforms, all attention is diverted towards the 2018 investigation into its shoddy construction. Whether it has been concluded, and if so, what results it produced is still unknown. The only question that remains is whether the airport can remain operational at the expense of the people.

Construction for the airport began in 2007, after which countless reports of its subpar construction and planning were filed—among other things, the airfreight unit started to crack and cave in, two runways were built so close together that two fights could not land parallel to each other, water supply was unstable and absent electrical supply in sections of the airport. The inefficient drainage system has added to the list of problems, with standing water on the roof, accompanied with strong winds, seeping into the building and causing the false ceiling to collapse in places. Having had years for development, and over Rs60 billion for its creation, it is astonishing that international standards have not been met. Surely, a brand-new airport that became active in 2018, one that is supposed to be as grand as IIAP is promised to be, should not be on the verge of collapsing just yet?

The lack of action pertaining to this issue, over the course of over a decade is alarming to say the least. A staff of 200 people—not to mention the daily traffic of passengers and other visitors—are inside that crippling building on a daily basis. This is a matter of public importance; if any injuries are caused, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the state will have another air-travel scandal on its hands. Even though the Director General of the CAA is looking into the matter, serious attention is demanded by all those who enter the premises feeling apprehensive and terrified.