Friday, 31 March, 2023

Bangladesh to become aviation gateway: PM

Bangladesh to become aviation gateway: PM
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina witnesses presentation on the ‘Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport Pedestrian Underpass’ project at her official residence Ganabhaban in the capital on Wednesday. —PID photo

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said that Bangladesh will be the aviation gateway and bridge between the East and the West in the future, reports UNB.

She said this while witnessing a presentation on the progress of the 'Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport Third Terminal Expansion' project’ at her official residence Ganabhaban,  Deputy Press Secretary Hasan Jahid Tusher told reporters.

The premier highlighted the features of building the third terminal at the airport, expanding the runway and improving the Cox's Bazar International Airport to take the country towards prosperity by utilising the geographical advantages of Bangladesh,

Pointing out that using Cox's Bazar Airport for refuelling will reduce the distance of international routes, she said, adding Cox's Bazar Airport is the most important.

“Cox's Bazar will become a gateway just as everyone now uses Dubai as a gateway for aircraft refuelling,”she said.

She said that Cox's Bazar will be within a short distance for refuelling on international routes and airlines won’t to go far. They can avail this facility directly from Cox's Bazar, she added.

She mentioned that Cox's Bazar will increase the country's income from refuelling international flights.

The PM said that everything at the third terminal of the HSIA will be managed digitally.

“People will be able to get international quality services quickly and easily. Therefore, the operation and maintenance of the airport will be given to a foreign company,” she said.

Chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority Bangladesh Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman presented the updated information of the 'Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport's third terminal expansion' project before the PM.

He said that all necessary preparations will be completed for the inauguration of the third terminal next October.

Stating that 61 percent of the third terminal work has been completed so far, he said that 93 percent of the total project work will be completed by October next year. There will be some minor work left.

He mentioned that the cost of the project may increase from Tk 22,000 crore to Tk 27,000 crore due to the increase in the value of the dollar and the price of various products.

The Civil Aviation chairman said that with cost escalation, various facilities and efficiency will increase.

The installation of radar by Thales, a French radar manufacturer, was also discussed.

PM Hasina asked the authorities to finish the installation of the radar quickly.

She said that with the installation of new radar, the income in the aviation sector will increase and good returns will come from it.

“Because then it will be easy to track the flights passing over Bangladesh airspace and it will be easy to get various types of fees from them,” she said.

According to civil aviation sources, the project to install the new radar was taken up in October 2021 with the timeframe to complete it by June 2024.

 But the third terminal and radar two will be inaugurated at the same time, the sources said, Sources also said that the radar capacity will extend to the sea limits available from India and Myanmar. Air communication system will be more modern and secure.

State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mahbub Ali, Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary M. Tofazzel Hossain Miah, PMO secretary Mohammad Salahuddin and Civil Aviation and Tourism Secretary Md Mokammel Hossain and Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) Chairman Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman, among others, were present.