Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said Bangladesh will be the gateway of international aviation and communication hub between eastern and western countries.
“Bangladesh will be the international aviation gateway and communication hub between east and west due to its geographical location and government’s initiatives,” said a spokesperson of the Prime Minister quoting her as she witnessed the presentation of the third terminal expansion of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) at her official residence Ganabhaban.
Briefing the reporters after the presentation, the Premier’s Deputy Press Secretary Hasan Jahid Tusher said that she mentioned the ongoing work of constructing the third terminal of HSIA and the up-gradation of Cox’s Bazar to an international airport along with the expansion of its runway will further pull the country towards prosperity.
“Bangladesh will be the bridge between east and west as well as aviation gateway,” hoped Sheikh Hasina.
“The length of international routes will be shortened if Cox’s Bazar Airport is used for refuelling,” she said, terming Cox’s Bazar Airport as the most important airport for its geographical location.
She added, “Cox’s Bazar will become a gateway similar to Dubai, which is being now used by everyone as a gateway for aircraft refuelling.”
Mentioning that Cox’s Bazar will be within a short distance for refuelling on international routes, she said, “Everyone can avail of this facility directly from Cox’s Bazar.”
The head of government also said that the country’s revenue will increase if international flights come to Cox’s Bazar for refuelling.
She said everything at the third terminal of the HSIA will be managed digitally so that people can get international-standard services very quickly and easily.
The Premier, in this connection, said a foreign company will be entrusted with the operation and maintenance of the airport.
Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) Chairman Air-Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman presented the updated scenarios of the HSIA’s third terminal expansion project before the Prime Minister.
M Mafidur Rahman said that all necessary preparations will be completed for the inauguration of the third terminal of HSIA in October next.
Stating that 61 per cent of works of the third terminal have been completed so far, Mafidur Rahman said that 93 per cent of the total project work will be completed by October next, while there will be some minor works left.
The CAAB Chairman said the cost of the project may increase from Taka 22,000 crore to Taka 27,000 crore due to the increase in the value of dollars and the price of various products, but different facilities and efficiency will also be added to the terminal.
Apart from the construction of the HSIA’s third terminal, the installation of radar by Thales, a French radar manufacturer, was also discussed.
At that time, the Prime Minister directed the authority to finish the installation of the radar quickly.
Mentioning that the country’s income will further increase through the radar installation, she said that due to the installation of the new radar, handsome revenue will come from it because it will be easy to track the flights passing over Bangladesh.
According to civil aviation, the project to install the new radar, taken up in October 2021, is scheduled to complete in June 2024. But, the third terminal and radar will be inaugurated at the same time as works will be completed as soon as possible.
The radar capacity will be extended to the maritime boundary gained from India and Myanmar. It will also help to make the Air communication system more modern and secure.
State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mahbub Ali, Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary M. Tofazzel Hossain Miah, Prime Minister’s Office Secretary Mohammad Salahuddin, Civil Aviation and Tourism Secretary Md Mokammel Hossain, among others, were present during the presentation.