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Cargo ban: UK imposes 10 conditions again

  • Published at 11:15 am December 29th, 2017
Cargo ban: UK imposes 10 conditions again
The United Kingdom has again imposed 10 conditions to lift an embargo on direct cargo flights from Dhaka. It came as a blow for the government which was expecting an announcement this month on ending the cargo ban. A three-member team of representatives from the UK recently visited the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport to observe its security system. Civil Aviation Minister Rashed Khan Menon had also met the UK’s Department of Transport (DFT) to discuss the ban’s withdrawal. The UK slapped the conditions after that, Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry sources say. Conditions imposed by DFT include appointing two security advisers, and following the UK model in aviation security. The ministry will respond to the conditions on December 31.
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Minister Menon said these were not conditions: “They merely made some observations. They feel that these should be met first. We are giving them reply. “We have sought some clarifications from them. We have told them to end the embargo first. Moreover, during my UK visit, the DFT was made aware of the improvement of our security system.” About the cargo ban, Menon said the UK high commissioner to Bangladesh had assured that his country would lift the ban either during Christmas or the new year. “We are continuing talks about the ban’s withdrawal,” the minister added. The UK imposed the embargo in March last year citing lax security measures at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. Civil Aviation Minister Menon visited the UK on November 27 to discuss about ending the ban.
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A three-member UK team visited Bangladesh from November 22 to 27. It observed the security system at the Dhaka airport and held meetings with the Civil Aviation Authority. Civil Aviation sources said British company Redline was appointed to upgrade the airport's security after the cargo ban as per the UK’s advice. The company trained the security staff and suggested including modern equipment for better search. Following the UK’s advice, explosive detection system has been installed in the export cargo zone. Apart from that, eight dogs have been added to the Airport Armed Police Battalion’s dog squad. These dogs can detect drugs, firearms and explosives, among others.
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Dual view x-ray scanning machine to search heavy luggage that can be kept in the plane’s hold, dual view scanning machine for searching handbags, liquid explosive detection system, under vehicle scanning system, fap barrier gate with card reader, explosive detection system, and explosive trace detection devices are being installed following the UK’s advice. Transporting cargo is one of the main sources of income for national flag carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines, which suffered big financial loss after UK’s cargo ban. In the 2016-17 fiscal year, Biman earned Tk244 crores by shipping cargo, down from Tk315 crores in the year before.
Also Read- Dhaka air cargo drops after EU steps
This article was first published on Bangla Tribune