Monday, 4 July, 2022

Biman still in its cocoon

The title of the lead story of yesterday’s Daily Sun tells a long and old story within the narrow space of only four words: ‘HSIA still a mess’. It could be the heading of this editorial as well. As readers have already noticed, the word ‘still’ in the phrase carries a special significance, meaning that the biggest airport of the country had been a mess and still remains so, without improvement worth mentioning. Only time can say whether it will stay in its cocoon or recuperate from the chronic ailment. We feel that service quality at the airport must improve but cannot be sure about it because of the alleged inefficiency, mismanagement and corruption of the Biman authorities entrusted with the task of supervising the affairs at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. Biman Bangladesh Airlines, a perpetual losing concern, has proved to be a white elephant, too costly for the nation to maintain.

It may be remembered that the HSIA administration had to suspend flights for eight hours per day to allow smooth construction of two high-speed taxiways for the thirds terminal. Biman found it difficult to manage all the incoming and outgoing flights within the reduced period. It was expected, and authorities also gave the hope that management of the airport affairs would improve with the resumption of the 24-hour flight operation. But it has not. And given the scale of unpreparedness in terms of manpower and equipment and messy ground handling, the promised improvement is far from taking place. The result is that international flights are delayed everyday due to the silly cause of poor ground handling. Not only that flights even have to wait in the bay areas, in the air or on the taxiway – sometimes for one or two hours, as is reported by this daily. Biman has practically done nothing during the flight suspension period.

Whatever can be more horrifying for the major airport of the country than this? It will not only lead to loss of air passengers’ confidence in Biman Bangladesh Airlines but also tarnish the image of the country. But who cares?