Groundhandling at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport's brand new third terminal will be contracted out to Japan, according to the chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority Bangladesh (CAAB).
Air Vice Marshal Muhammad Mafidur Rahman disclosed this during a dialogue organized by the Aviation and Tourism Journalists' Forum of Bangladesh, or ATJFB, on Saturday at HSIA.
“Japan has shown interest in groundhandling and the government has taken a policy decision to give them this job,” the CAAB chief said
The work would be done through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model, he added, meaning the Japanese would probably bring in one of their experienced private firms to do the job on the ground.
The brand new Terminal 3 at HSIA, set to be inaugurated in October, is expected to be a gamechanger in the country's aviation history.
Tanzim Anwar, president of ATFJB, conducted the programme while General Secretary Ziaul Hoque Sabuj delivered the welcome speech.
Regarding the purchase of airplanes, Mafidur Rahman said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has given instructions to increase the fleet of airplanes and asked to increase the cargo capacity. That is why the aircraft will be purchased. We have a good relation with Boeing but recently the issue of Airbus has also come up. If Airbus makes a better offer than Boeing, we will go with them. Biman will choose whoever gives us the best offer, he informed.
In response to a question about making Saidpur airport a regional hub, the CAAB Chairman said, "We jumped into the work with a master plan and places had also been designated for acquisition. But for this, Tk 5 thousand crore is required. Due to the current economic situation, the government could not prioritize it, said the CAAB chief.
Among others, CAAB members (planning) Air Commodore Sadikur Rahman Chowdhury, (ATM) Shah Kausar Ahmed Chowdhury, (administration) Md. Mahbub Alam Talukdar, (security) Group Captain Abu Saleh Mahmud Mannafi and Chief Engineer Md. Abdul Malek were present at the dialogue.