The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has decided to close down Walton Airport to pave the way for launching Central Business District project.
In a bid to execute the project, the government has approved revenue sharing between the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and Central Business Development Authority (CBDA), Punjab government.
Sources told The Express Tribune that the cabinet, in a recent meeting, approved a revenue-sharing mechanism between the government of Punjab and CAA for Walton Airport.
The Aviation Division informed the cabinet that the federal cabinet in a meeting held in April 2021, while considering a summary submitted by the Aviation Division titled “Shifting of Walton Airport Pursuance of the Directive of Prime Minister”, had approved the recommendations.
First, the Aviation Division proposed that the prime minister would constitute a committee to recommend the fixing of net profit share for the CBDA and CAA for approval by the cabinet.
The Aviation Division was directed to issue a notification regarding closing down the Walton Airport immediately. The cabinet directed the CBDA to give a presentation on the Central Business District project in the next meeting.
In compliance with the decision, a meeting was held on April 14, 2021, which was chaired by the Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority (NAPHDA) chairman.
According to recommendations of the committee, the land will be treated based on the available revenue record – 52 acres under the ownership of CAA and 70 acres with the government of Punjab.
Revenue-sharing will be based on percentage as per ownership in net profit with the first three years as grace for the development of infrastructure. Shareholding of the government of Punjab will be 57.4% in line with 70 acres of land while the CAA share will be 42.6% of net profit. Total land area is 122 acres.
Both the CAA and CBDA will move a summary through their respective offices for approval of the land equity model by the federal and provincial cabinets.
The government has issued a notification which says, “In pursuance of powers conferred by Section 6(1)(c) of the Civil Aviation Ordinance 1960, the federal government is pleased to direct the CAA to prohibit the use of Walton Aerodrome for aircraft flying and close it for availability as an aerodrome with immediate effect.”
The CAA had also been directed to comply with the SRO. However, Section 6(2) of the ordinance stipulates, “Any person who suffers direct injury or loss by reason of any order made under Clause C of Sub-section(1), shall be paid such compensation as may be determined by such authority as the federal government may appoint in this behalf.”
In view of the decision, approval of the cabinet was solicited for the following proposals:
Approval of land equity model at the rate of 42.6% of net profit for 52 acres of CAA land as recommended by the committee constituted by the cabinet in the case considered on April 1, 2021; appointment of director general CAA as “Authority to award” compensation as under Sub-section 6(2) of the Civil Aviation Ordinance, 1960.
The cabinet considered the summary titled “Revenue-sharing mechanism between the government of Punjab and CAA for Walton Airport Project” dated June 1, 2021, submitted by the Aviation Division, and approved the proposals.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 26th, 2021.
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