Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has inaugurated the third terminal at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) in Dhaka, marking a significant milestone in Bangladesh’s aviation sector. The Prime Minister expressed her vision for Bangladesh to become an international aviation hub, leveraging its strategic geographical location between the East and the West.
A Vision for the Future
The Prime Minister emphasized that Bangladesh’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport and Cox’s Bazar International Airport are poised to become international aviation hubs. She drew parallels with Hong Kong, which was once an international aviation hub, later replaced by Singapore and currently by Dubai. Sheikh Hasina believes that Bangladesh is well-positioned to be the next global aviation center, especially for refueling stops for global airlines.
Upgrading the Aviation Sector
The government is committed to upgrading the aviation sector to meet future demands. The third terminal is equipped with modern facilities to expand international air connectivity. This development is expected to significantly boost international trade, commerce, and business. The Prime Minister also mentioned that all major airports in Bangladesh, including those in Sylhet, Chattogram, Sayedpur, Jashore, Barishal, and Rajshahi, are undergoing expansion and modernization.
Infrastructure and Facilities
The third terminal project, which commenced on December 28, 2019, has a budget of Taka 21,300 crore. The government has contributed Taka 5,000 crore, while the remaining funding comes from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The terminal spans an area of 542,000 square meters and will feature 115 check-in counters, 66 departure immigration desks, 59 arrival immigration desks, and three VIP immigration desks. It is designed to handle 24 million passengers annually, a significant increase from the current eight million.
Future Plans and Investments
The government has plans to install a new radar system for airway safety and security, with France being assigned the task. Additionally, pipelines are being installed to bring jet fuel directly to HSIA, which will save time and money while also protecting the environment. The Prime Minister also hinted at the possibility of constructing another runway at HSIA in the future.
A Boost to Tourism and Economy
The new terminal is expected to play a pivotal role in boosting tourism in Bangladesh. It will be fully operational by the end of next year, and several foreign airlines are already eyeing operations from HSIA. The terminal will also be connected to various modes of transport, including an elevated expressway and an underground railway, to facilitate smooth entry and exit for passengers.
Japan’s Role in the Development
State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Mahbub Ali, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Masahiro Komura, and other dignitaries were present at the inauguration ceremony. The involvement of Japan in the project underscores the international cooperation that Bangladesh is fostering to achieve its vision for the aviation sector.
The inauguration of the third terminal at HSIA is not just an addition to the country’s infrastructure but a leap towards realizing Bangladesh’s potential in the global aviation sector. With state-of-the-art facilities and strategic plans for future expansion, the new terminal is set to elevate Bangladesh’s position on the world aviation map.
By taking these ambitious steps, Bangladesh is not only enhancing its aviation sector but also setting the stage for robust economic growth and increased international engagement.
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