Flight operations at Lahore airport 'resumed' after fire incident at immigration section

Aviation minister praises airport administration, agencies for taking prompt action to douse massive fire

Passengers walking amid smoke after massive fire broke out at Allama Iqbal International Airport on May 9, 2024. — Screen grab/X/@Kinnzayyy
  • Khawaja Asif visits Lahore airport, orders early restoration of IBMS.
  • Flight operations fully resumed after "restoration of IBMS at 10pm".
  • Lahore airport receives first flight from Kuala Lumpur after blaze.

Domestic and international flight operations have been resumed at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport which was disrupted after a fire broke out at the immigration counter on Thursday morning, according to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) sources.

They said the immigration system hit by the blaze had also been restored. 

Federal Minister for Aviation Khawaja Asif visited the Lahore airport today and inspected the affected portion hit by the blaze and received a briefing from the officers concerned.

The CAA spokesperson said that the aviation minister was apprised about the resumption of domestic flight operations alongside other relevant systems, whereas, the authorities were working to restore the Integrated Border Management System (IBMS) — a vital component used by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for monitoring incoming and outgoing international passengers at the nationwide airports.

It added that a special team has arrived in Lahore from Islamabad to make the IBMS functional which would be completed soon.

Asif ordered the aviation authority to restore the crucial monitoring system of the travellers on a priority basis. During his visit, the minister also held meetings with officers of all agencies working at the airport.

He praised the airport administration and all agencies for taking prompt action to douse the fire.

Sources told Geo News that the IBMS was resumed at the Lahore airport at 10pm today which shut down due to fire at the immigration counters.

Moreover, international and domestic flight operations have also been fully resumed following the resumption of the immigration system.

In the latest development, the first flight from Kuala Lumpur has also landed at the airport after the blaze incident. They added that four international flights were diverted to Islamabad due to the closure of operations following the airport inferno.

Earlier in the day, the immigration system of the airport caught fire due to a short circuit in the immigration counter’s ceiling.

The authorities said the fire took place in the departure lounge of the airport and the blaze was doused by the Civil Aviation Authority staff after some struggle. However, there was still some hindrance in the flight operation and immigration process because of thick smoke.

The incident also resulted in partial disruption to ongoing Hajj flight operations at the airport.

Federal Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi also sought an investigation report on the fire incident at the immigration counter.