Islamabad  - The security concerns and adopted measures at the already overburdened Benazir Bhutto International Airport have aggravated parking problems for the daily visitors and staffers, with no apparent solution to the issue at the moment.

Entering the premises of the airport and managing to get a vehicle parked is an herculean task, as one has to go through some certain security levels besides waiting in a queue to get a parking ticket, whether the space is available or not.

Sajid Ali, a transporter said, “After going through different levels of screening we have to wait in the drop lane to get a ticket. Even after that there is no space to get a vehicle parked.”

The issue is more complex and time consuming for the visitors and passengers of the far-flung areas who use public service vehicles like Toyota Hiace vans which are not allowed to enter the premises due to security concerns and ultimately they have to park them outside, thus creating problems for the road users. Sheheryar, a resident of Gujrat, who was at the airport to receive his family coming from UK said, “We were not allowed to enter inside the airport despite having all the legal documents. So there was no other option except to park the vehicle outside the premises on the wrong side as the family was carrying lot of luggage.”

Joint Director (Public Relations), Civil Aviation Authority Fareeha Shah commenting on the issue said, “There was no solution to the lack of space but we were trying to facilitate maximum to the public by providing them basic necessities like waiting area, drinking water and public toilets.She said security concerns have forced to restrict people outside the premises and public service vehicles were banned just to ensure more secure and hassle free environment.

“The security measures are taken by the Airport Security Force while traffic police was responsible to ensure smooth flow of traffic outside the airport,” she said.

She said `One passenger One Facilitator’ policy was introduced to minimise public rush besides keeping away big public transport vehicles, creating traffic and security issues for the relevant authorities. Fareeha Shah however regretted for not allowing public service vehicles inside the facility and said public security is more important than parking.

In the meantime the commuters have also complained of the unjustified behaviour of the traffic personnel.

A transporter Taimoor Ahmed complained, “The traffic wardens have dictatorial attitude towards us and they just create a scene to issue a fine ticket without any violation of the standard rules.”

When contacted DSP Traffic Musarat Abbas said, “The Drop Lane was meant to facilitate passengers and reduce their time but if someone parks a vehicle over there then we have to respond forcefully. It is our responsibility to ensure smooth flow of traffic. Local administration and Civil Aviation Authority were responsible to provide commuters sufficient place for their vehicles.”

Musarat said parking vehicles on road is never justified as it creates hindrance in smooth flow of traffic on the important road, which traffic police cannot afford.

The situation no doubt is worsening day by day as the airport built years ago is insufficient to accommodate ever increasing burden. The only solution is the functioning of new airport as soon as possible which is scheduled to be inaugurated in June 2016 and would be functional by start of 2017.