All 8 airports to get facelift with state-of-the-art amenities by this year: CAAB Chief
Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) Chairman Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman has said that the expansion and modernization works of all 8 airports – international and domestic – in the country, involving Tk 35,850 crore, will be completed by the end of the current year. “Once the work is completed, there will be major changes in infrastructures of the airports. All the airports will be equipped with modern amenities, and they will get an attractive look,” the CAAB chief told UNB in an exclusive interview recently. Work is going on in full swing to implement the projects as per the instructions of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, he said, adding that the engineers of CAAB worked round the clock even during the Covid-19 pandemic. “We have ensured the quality of the work and maintained European standard in terms of equipment and safety materials,” he added. “More than 70 percent work of the third terminal of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka has been completed and the operational activities of the new terminal will be inaugurated in October this year. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the third terminal,” he said. Read more: Domestic airports are getting face-lift to offer quality services to passengers: CAAB “After completion of the third terminal, passenger handling capacity at Dhaka airport will increase from 10 million to 22 million. Besides, cargo handling capacity will rise from 2.20 lakh ton to 7 lakh ton,” the CAAB chairman added. He said that passengers will be able to avail international standard services once the third terminal opens. Construction work of 73,548 square meter cargo apron of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport is now underway. Eighty-five percent of the project has been completed and after implementation, the apron will be able to park additional 4 long-range cargo aircraft. Read more: World-class third terminal of Dhaka Airport to be visible by Dec: CAAB Besides, the construction of general aviation hangar, hangar apron and fire station expansion project at Dhaka airport, at a cost of Tk 430 crore, is on.
Amid surge in Omicron BF.7 in countries, DGHS asks for necessary steps at airports and other entry points
In the wake of the surge in the new sub-variant of Covid-19 infections, Omicron BF.7, in different countries including China and India, the government has asked all to take necessary steps in maintaining health guidelines in all airports, land ports and river ports across the country. The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) issued a notice on Saturday, according to a press release. The emergence of new sub-variant Omicron BF.7 is most likely responsible for the current surge of COVID-19 infection in China, India and other countries which is more transmissible, said DGHS. Read more: COVID-19 Omicron XE Variant: Should we be worried? To contain the spread of Covid, DGHS has instructed the authorities concerned to strengthen surveillance and screening of people coming to Bangladesh from countries including China, India, Japan, South Korea, USA, France, Brazil and Germany. It also asked the authorities concerned to take steps so that people, coming from those countries, go through tests and digital thermal scanner and thermometer in hand are used at the entry points of all districts. It also requested to strengthen the risk communication activities. Read more: Bangladesh's Omicron tally rises to 187
Monkeypox: Govt orders screening passengers at all airports, land ports
The government has instructed the authorities concerned to strengthen surveillance and screening of people coming to Bangladesh from countries with confirmed Monekypox cases through the land ports and airports. The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) issued a notice in this regard on Sunday. Also read: Monkeypox usually self-limiting but may be severe in some individuals: WHO According to the notice, Monkeypox is not a new disease. It was found among people in West and Middle African countries in the past. Recently it has been detected among people living in European and American countries with no history of travelling in the African countries. People who contracted the virus or came close to the infected people should be listed as suspected patients of Monkeypox, it said. The suspected patients or patients having symptoms should be taken to government hospitals or Infectious Diseases Hospital and kept in isolation and it should be reported to the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR).
Govt plans to construct int’l airport nearby Dhaka: Mahbub Ali
There is a plan to construct a new international airport named ‘Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib International Airport,’ in the vicinity of Dhaka ensuring the latest standards to make Bangladesh as an air connectivity hub between the East and the West, said State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mahbub Ali on Monday. He said this in Parliament, replying to a starred question from treasury bench lawmaker Shahiduzzaman Sarker (Naogaon-2). Read: Ensure proper use of water to conserve it: PM The state minister said now eight airports remain in operation under Bangladesh Civil Aviation Authority in the country. On the other hand, three STOL (Short Take-Off and Landing) airports – Thakurgaon, Shamshernagar and Cumilla—and three domestic airports – Ishwardi, Lalmonirhat and Bogura—remain closed. Govt plans to operate flight on Jashore-Ctg route In reply to a starred question from Awami League MP Shafiqul Islam Shimul (Natore-2), Mahbub Ali said there is a plan to increase the weekly flights frequency on all existing domestic routes as well as to operate flights on some non-traditional routes like Jashore-Chattogram-Jashore route considering the demand of passengers. The state minister said the flight operation started on Sylhet-Cox’s Bazar-Sylhet on November 12, 2020, Sylhet-Chattogram-Sylhet route on March 17, 2021 and Syedpur-Cox’s Bazar-Syedpur on October 07, 2021. Noting that the weekly flight frequency was increased on different international routes, he said a process is on to operate non-stop commercial flight between Dhaka and Toronto from June 11, 2022. Read: Expedite Shahjalal Airport's extension work, PM directs authorities In reply to another starred question from ruling party MP Momotaz Begum, the state minister said Biman Bangladesh Airlines (Biman) has a fleet of 21 aircraft including three leased ones. Now a programme is underway to assess the feasibility over the inclusion of new generation passenger aircraft and cargo planes to the fleet in order to enhance the passenger transportation capacity and improve the services, said Mahbub Ali.
Domestic airports are getting face-lift to offer quality services to passengers: CAAB
Civil Aviation Authority, Bangladesh (CAAB) has taken initiatives to modernise and expand all domestic airports of the country as well as the quality of passenger services. According to the Civil Aviation Authority, measures have been taken to modernize and expand the domestic terminals of seven airports in the country. Apart from three international airports- Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Dhaka, Shah Amanat International Airport, Chattogram and Osmani International Airport, Sylhet there are domestic airports in Cox's Bazar, Rajshahi, Saidpur, Nilphamari and Barisal. Steps to modernise all domestic airports in phases Asked about all initiatives, CAAB Chairman Air vice Marshal M Mofizur Rahman told UNB that work is underway to enhance the quality of passenger services at the seven domestic airports, including the domestic terminal at Shahjalal International Airport. He said that the number of passengers on domestic flights has increased a lot in the country at present. Work on the landing terminal at Dhaka Airport has already started. "We hope that the expansion work will be completed soon. Everything else will be done quickly." The chairman said there is a plan to expand the domestic terminal of Dhaka airport by the middle of this year. The work on expanding the domestic terminal will be completed in Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport first. READ: Parliamentary body visits Cox’s Bazar Airport project A budget has been earmarked for phasing out the domestic terminal buildings of all other airports in the same manner. Permission has already been sought from the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism. The internal terminal will be further modernized. Besides, the work of transforming Cox's Bazar Airport into an International airport is going on and the domestic terminal will be more modernized there. According to CAAB, the initiative has been taken to handle the increasing pressure of domestic passengers as well as to enhance the quality of services. A 8,000 sq ft floor is being constructed on the second floor of the old terminal building inside Dhaka airport. Half of that floor will have two international standard lines and the other half will have passenger seats and other facilities. There will be an air conditioning system with elevators. READ: Dhaka airport's 3rd terminal to 'boost' trade He further said modern scanning machines, security equipment, two international standard lounges, seating capacity of more than 300 passengers, smoking zone, diaper changing station and mothers' corner will be set up at the domestic terminal at Dhaka Airport. Increasing pressure on domestic flights In this regard, the State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mahbub Ali told UNB that steps have been taken to modernize and expand all domestic airports in the country further as per the directives of the prime minister to enhance the quality of passenger services at airports in line with various countries in the world. He said, "Domestic flights within the country's existing passenger transport system have been increasing at a significant rate in the last few years. The people of the country are now much more economically advanced." Foreigners, businesspeople, and tourists are traveling more on domestic flights to save time, so the number of passengers is increasing day by day. That is why the project has been taken with emphasis on all domestic airport works, he added. He said the waiting time of passengers at the domestic terminal in Dhaka will be made comfortable with more facilities. All the domestic airports in the country will be arranged properly. "We have taken the initiative to provide all the facilities of the international airport to be available in the domestic airports too," he added. According to CAAB, the security arrangements at the internal terminal are being further updated. Internal terminals will be equipped with security equipment to prevent crime. Security will be further strengthened on all routes. Services need to be enhanced both in airports and airlines Biman Bangladesh Airlines, US-Bangla Airlines and NovoAir operate domestic flights. However, US-Bangla Airlines has the largest number of flights. Kamrul Islam, General Manager (Public Relations) of US-Bangla Airlines, told UNB that the number of passengers on domestic flights has increased by almost 300 per cent in 7-8 years. Passenger facilities have not increased accordingly and the quality of passenger service has remained the same, he said. He said airlines should not just increase the quality of passenger service. The airport must also have quality of service. In all, both airports and airlines must provide the same quality services to passengers. He said passenger lounges have been set up in Dhaka, Cox's Bazar and Rajshahi. Similarly, the quality of passenger service needs to be enhanced with all facilities including passenger lounges at all other domestic airports.
Bangladesh’s international airports to have PCR booths for Covid tests
PCR testing booths will be set up at Bangladesh’s three international airports to facilitate passengers to take Covid-19 test four to six hours before boarding their flights, said Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam. The directive came from a virtual cabinet meeting held on Monday with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair who joined it from her official residence Ganobhaban, Anwarul Islam said. Read: RU student volunteers to engage Gram Bangla on Covid-19 Other cabinet members were connected with the meeting from the Bangladesh Secretariat. “A good number of countries imposed a condition for travellers to take PCR test 4, 6 or 8 hours ahead of flying, the authorities were asked to install PCR machines within the next two or three days,” said Anwar while briefing reporters after the meeting.