The Financial Express

Working to enhance Bangladesh’s air connectivity: PM

| Updated: October 23, 2019 19:30:51

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina seen in this undated UNB photo Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina seen in this undated UNB photo

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said the government is working to enhance Bangladesh’s air connectivity with the rest of the world.

"We’ve procured 10 passenger carriers in the last 10 years which include four 787 Dreamliners, two 737 and four 777 from Boeing. We’re preparing to procure two more aircraft," she said.

The Prime Minister said this while addressing the closing ceremony of the three-day 6th International Flight Safety Seminar 2019 jointly organised by Bangladesh Air Force and Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) at Hotel Pan Pacific Sonargaon with the theme 'Team Effort Can Ensure Team Safety’.

She hoped Biman Bangladesh Airlines will be able to operate flights on distant routes like New York, Toronto and Sydney. "We’re hopeful about it…the process to upgrade the CAAB to Category-1 is in progress."

The premier said the declaration of civil aviation in Bangladesh as Category-1 is just a matter of time under the International Safety Assessment Program by the US Federal Aviation Authority, reports UNB.

She said Bangladesh’s geological position can play the role of a bridge between the East and the West of the world. 

"We can be benefitted economically with this…international passengers can travel to their destinations in a short time. Keeping that in mind, we’re developing our airports," she said. 

Hasina said the government is implementing a project to turn Cox’s Bazar Airport into an international one through extending its runway up to 12,000ft. The construction work on Khan Jahan Ali Airport in Bagerhat is also on, she said.

The Prime Minister said with an ambition to increase connectivity with neighbouring countries like Nepal, Bhutan, and India, the government is modernising Saidpur Airport to convert it into an international airport for making it as regional one. 

"Our government has taken a number of initiatives to make air trips accessible, comfortable and safer. As part of this, construction of a third terminal at Hazrat Shah Jalal International Airport is in progress."

After implementation of the project, she mentioned, it will be possible to provide services to approximately 12 million passengers a year which will be two and a half times more than that of the existing capacities.

The Prime Minister said the government has passed a bill in parliament on ‘Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Aviation and Aerospace University’ with a goal to develop skilled human resources in aviation sector.

She said flying is a highly technical profession where expertise is a must. This professionalism brings self-confidence among professionals apart from bringing glory and honour for the organisation.

Hasina said her government has been implementing special programmes for the development of the aviation sector. 

"Bangladesh Air Force and our Civil Aviation Authority have been maintaining relatively better and satisfactory standards in flight safety in the region," she mentioned.

She said the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh has recently obtained coveted 75.46 per cent marks in a Flight Safety survey conducted by ICAO which is the highest in Asia.

Recently, Biman Bangladesh Airlines has achieved international Five Star award in safe aviation standards.

Air Chief Marshal Masihuzzaman Serniabat and CAAB Air Vice Marshal (AVM) M Mafidur Rahman, among others, spoke on the occasion.

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