Upon completion of the Cox's Bazar Airport runway extension project, all types of large aircraft will be able to take off and land on the runway
Highlighting the potential of Cox’s Bazar, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said that the government wants to turn Bangladesh into a global aviation hub that will help accelerate the country’s current economic march forward.
“Considering Bangladesh’s geographical position, we want to make the country the centre of global aviation so that our country is greatly benefited economically,” she said.
The prime minister said this while inaugurating the groundbreaking activities of the extension of Cox’s Bazar Airport runway. She joined the event from her official residence Ganabhaban in Dhaka.
Given the perspective of the aviation industry, Sheikh Hasina said, the position of Cox’s Bazar is very significant.
In recent times, she said, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Bangkok gained importance while Dubai is currently getting greater attention. “I can say, Cox’s Bazar will be the most important one in the future,” she said.
After the expansion of the Cox’s Bazar Airport, the premier mentioned, that this will emerge as a suitable place for refuelling of aircraft from the East and West, and put emphasis on enhancing communication with South East Asian countries apart of Western countries.
“If we can enhance our communication with the South Eastern Asian countries, it’ll help expand our trade and commerce.”
“Don’t look at the West only. We’ll have to try to establish air communication with other countries too,” she said.
After coming to power, the premier said that her government added 16 new aircraft to Biman’s fleet – including four 777, two 737, four 787-8, two 787-9, and four Dash-8 planes.
With these aircraft, she said, the government wants to expand the national flag carrier’s operational capacity, including direct flights to and from New York, Toronto, and Sydney.
She asked Biman officials to work with honesty and sincerity and upgrade all its services, including security, to international standards.
The prime minister said the government wants to upgrade the Saidpur Airport to make it a regional airport so that Bhutan, Nepal, and some Indian states can use it.
She also said Sylhet International Airport can be used by Indian Meghalaya, Assam, and other states while Chittagong International Airport can be used by Tripura and other Indian states.
Voicing her frustration for not being able to utilize the new aircraft, Sheikh Hasina said that these aircraft cannot be operated due to the coronavirus pandemic.
She mentioned that the construction work of the third terminal of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) is going on in full swing. “It’ll be the most modern one.”
She said there will be an underpass from HSIA to the Airport Railway Station for the convenience of passengers.
About the development of Cox’s Bazar as a tourist spot, she said the government has many development plans for the area to attract more local and foreign tourists.
In this connection, the prime minister mentioned the Sonadia Eco Park which will be preserving all-natural elements.
State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mahbub Ali, Secretary of the Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry Md Mokammel Hossain, and Chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman also spoke at the event.
A video on the development of the aviation industry of Bangladesh was screened at the program.