Increasing population, increasing vehicles in the roads and highways creates traffic jam in our communication sector especially in the roads. So, people choose alternative sources of communication like air or waterway for speedy and easy transit from one place to another. Our air transport sector is very important for communication in the country too. More skilled manpower is needed in the aviation sector for emergency transport, medical and health services, business, domestic and international flights operation. Many countries like our neighbouring India and China has developed their air traffic, air travel, trade and business activities, and emergency medical services through air route and is earning a great portion of their national income from that source. Bangladesh is a member country of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and its services from the very beginning of our independence with a small number of aircrafts and is now developing day by day. Modernisation and update of this sector is a crying need of the hour for more aviation facilities for national and international air transportations. Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) installs, maintains and operates aerodromes, air traffic, air navigation and telecommunication services and facilities. All other aviation related ground services and facilities are also ensured by the CAAB for safe and smooth aircraft operation within the territorial airspace of the country. CAAB at present operates 3 international airports and 7 domestic airports and 2 short takeoff and landing (STOL) ports. Out of this, 8 airports are in operation. If we research the financial position of CAAB, we see that the revenue income of this sector was 287.15 crore taka in 2006-2007 fiscal year whereas it is 1330.06 crore taka in 2015-2016 fiscal year (source: Civil Aviation Authority). Biman, Bangladesh Airlines Limited, the national flag carrier, plays a vital role in air transportation within and outside the country. At present, this carrier operates flights to different destination both domestic and international air routes. In the coming days in near future, it will add more air destination for both travel and tour or for business, export-import or medical purposes. So, more skilled manpower is needed in the aviation sector. We need more skilled air pilots, aviation manpower for efficient and speedy services for our domestic and foreign air passengers and businessmen. At present, there is not much aviation related technical schools, colleges or universities in the country. We should establish more aviation educational institutions or aviation subject may be included in the curricula with honors or master course in the Science and Technological Universities in the country. Both public and private sector/public and private universities should come forward to support logistic, physical, technical and financial assistance in this purpose. These institutions will help to create more skilled manpower in aviation sector which will help to render aviation services efficiently and smoothly. It will create more employment in this service sector domestically or internationally. There is a great demand of skilled aviation manpower in foreign international airports also. It will help also to create more skilled air pilots who will reduce air accidents and related casualties. Our air force personnels who are newly recruited will be able to earn knowledge and experience by training imparted by those technical, vocational institutions or universities which will help our air security and sovereignty.
Lesson from China: China is developing their aviation sectors continuously and vigorously. China is in position of an airport network with fairly considerable size for air transportation of domestic and international cargoes. So far as business volume is concerned, they are expanding and modernising their aviation sector by educating and recruiting more skilled, efficient manpower. They have quite a number of airports, large, medium and small, distributed in various provinces, cities and region nationwide. China Aviation Authority declared to separate government functions from enterprises and founded three major air transport group, China Air Group Corp., China Eastern Air Group Corp., Southern Air Group Corp. They are creating more skilled manpower in this sector for their air transport management. Reconstruction of trunk line airports, high performance airport safety, manufacturing of special aviation vehicles, development of aviation computer management and network system, cargo loading and unloading equipment, freight yard equipment, warehousing equipment, developing of airport communication and navigation systems and manufacturing of high-performance airport fire-fighting equipment by their air scientists and engineers. In Bangladesh, there is a huge potential of producing more skilled aviation manpower for more employment opportunities within home and abroad and has a great possibility to earn foreign income by educating, training and recruiting them accordingly.
Md Muzibur Rahman. Additional Land Acquisition Officer, DC Office, Dhaka