Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said her administration plans to make Bangladesh a global hub of connectivity to reflect its geographical location by expanding aviation routes.
“We want to turn Bangladesh into a global hub of connectivity, to take advantage of its geographical location and financially benefit our country,” Hasina said, while inaugurating the extension work of Cox’s Bazar Airport runway via video conference on Sunday, reports bdnews24.com.
“The government is trying to expand international aviation routes from Bangladesh,” the prime minister said, adding that Bangladesh now has planes like “Dreamliners” to operate long-haul flights to New York, Toronto and Sydney.
“We also need to enhance our connectivity with countries in South Asia and Southeast Asia. Better connectivity with Southeast Asian countries will expand our trade and business.”
"We shouldn't focus only on Western countries, but also ensure that our Biman Bangladesh Airlines fly to other friendly nations in the future," she said.
Hasina said her government has been working to develop all airports in the country and has plans to do more in the future.
"We're planning to develop Saidpur Airport further and make it a regional airport so that neighbouring countries like Bhutan, Nepal and some Indian states can use it. Sylhet Airport is already an international airport, which can be used by different states in India including Meghalaya and Assam. Tripura and other Indian states can use Chattogram Airport, an international airport."
“This is how we plan to nurture regional cooperation and develop and modernise (our airports),” Hasina said.
She urged the Biman Bangladesh Airlines officials to run the enterprise with skill and integrity and ensure the airline maintains international standards, including on civil aviation security. She mentioned that the construction of the third terminal at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport is continuing as part of modernisation work on the airport.
The Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was fond of Cox's Bazar and he always took his family there once a year for a vacation when he was not in prison, said Hasina, his daughter.
"We've a number of plans (for the airports), especially for Cox's Bazar. Cox's Bazar will be a major tourist location with all the amenities of a modern city and the world's longest natural sea beach. We'll develop Cox's Bazar further.”
"We have gathered here today for the expansion work on the runway at Cox's Bazar Airport. We want to expand it in such a way that enables the biggest planes to land here and refuel," Hasina said.
"We'll rebuild Cox's Bazar into a modern, international tourism centre, so everyone can come and enjoy the beauty of Bangladesh. And it will also bring us financial benefits."