New int’l airport to cost Tk 50,000cr

Says ministry report
Rejaul Karim Byron
Building another international airport nearby Dhaka will cost Tk 50,000 crore, a pre-feasibility study by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism suggests.

The ministry has sought approval of the cabinet committee on economic affairs to implement the project under public-private partnership (PPP). It is likely to be placed in the committee meeting tomorrow.

The ministry proposal said as the project involves a huge budget, it would be logical to implement it through PPP.

Alongside the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka, the government has decided in principle to build another airport named Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib International Airport.

A nine-member pre-feasibility study committee has been formed headed by a member of civil aviation authority. After visiting seven sites in Gazipur, Tangail, and Mymensingh districts, the committee preferred three among those.

A high level meeting held at the civil aviation ministry made recommendation for the site in Trishal upazila of Mymensingh covering 2,600 hectares of land. About 1,000 acres of land of Bangladesh Army remain unused in the area, which could be an advantage.

The ministry sources said the cabinet committee on economic affairs would make the final selection of the site.

The civil aviation ministry put forward several logics for building another international standard airport nearby Dhaka.

Aviation is increasing substantially in the country and about 80 percent of the air passengers use Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, said the ministry proposal adding the airport has only one runway and its annual passenger handling capacity is 80 lakh. This is inadequate compared to increasing number of passengers.

The proposal also said due to space constraint in the terminal building, modern five-level security concept cannot be employed which is mandatory as per the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) guidelines.

As the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport is surrounded by residential area and cantonment, its extensive future expansion is impossible. These make building another international standard airport near Dhaka an urgent necessity, mentioned the proposal.

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