The government has approved Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport Expansion Project worth Tk570.79 crore to meet the future demand of air transportation.
The project was approved at the Cabinet committee on government purchase on Sunday. Earlier, the committee selected four companies as consultants of detailed design of the airport.
The four are Nippon Koei Co Limited, Oriental Consultants Global Japan, CPG Consultant Private Limited Singapore and Development Design Consultant Limited Bangladesh.
The consultancy firms will submit their reports on building a third terminal and other infrastructural development at the airport.
According to a report by the Civil Aviation Authority, Bangladesh (CAAB), the existing terminal building of the airport will be insufficient by 2018 and a new terminal will be required by 2019.
CAAB sources said they planned to end the expansion project by 2018, but the bureaucratic process delayed initiating the project work which would lead to a total chaos to cope with the passenger rush at the airport.
Considering air traffic growth, the government has taken up expansion project. After getting the detailed design from consultancy companies, the government will take further steps.
The objective of the project is to expand airport facilities as well as ensure an international-standard safety and security by expanding airport terminal facilities and developing related infrastructure.
Industry insiders said the expansion project would expedite economic growth in the country.
Dhaka airport, the main gateway of the country, was designed as a domestic airport in early 1960s. It has a single runway with annual passenger handling capacity of only 8 million.
According to CAAB report, currently, the airport can handle eight million passengers in a year. The volume of passengers is on the rise, some 10% each year.