The construction of the planned most-modern new airport titled Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib International Airport will start within the next one and a half years, said Civil Aviation Minister Rashed Khan Menon yesterday.
While talking exclusively to the Dhaka Tribune, the minister said: “The construction of the airport will begin in 2018.”
The government has already selected Nippon KoEI Co Limited, a Japanese consulting firm, to conduct the feasibility study of the proposed airport.
The study is expected to complete by June, 2017 at a cost of Tk120 crore.
“The main objective of the project is to construct a new modern international airport and to create a hub airport in this region and meet growing traffic demand of the country,” said the minister.
The existing infrastructure facilities of the main gateway of the country, Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, are insufficient to meet the future air traffic demand and there are some constraints to expand the airport, he added.
Three sites – ‘Char Janajat’ in Madaripur district, ‘Keyain and Latobdi’ in Munshiganj district and Char Bilashpur in Dhaka district – have primarily been selected for establishing the airport, according to officials of Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB).
After the meeting of Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase on Wednesday, additional Secretary to the Cabinet Division M Mostafizur Rahman said the cabinet selected Nippon to conduct the feasibility study of the airport and the government will finance the entire feasibility cost.
According to the project proposal, the construction cost is estimated at Tk50,000 crore involving building three runways with 14,500 feet length each.
The airport area will cover 8,000 acre of land and take about 10 years to complete the project.
It took 17 years to complete the construction work of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport which stretches across 2,000 acres of land.
For site selection, feasibility study team will verify all factors, including cost and risk benefits, economic and financial impacts, financing and airport operation strategy, environmental impact assessment and environmental management plant.
Once the new airport is completed, it will make significant contribution to the national GDP like aerotropolis Dubai International Airport. The ideal aerotropolis is an amalgam of convention hotels, hospitals, cargo complexes, factories and the future of large city.
The Bangabandhu airport will be connected through a link route to the Proposed Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Route (Motijheel to Diabari Depot).
In 2009, after assuming power, the government announced to build Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib International Airport.