A process is underway to construct the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman International Airport (BSMIA) on a suitable plot of land near capital Dhaka, officials of the civil aviation and tourism ministry informed. The Japanese firm – Nippon Koei Co. Ltd., assigned by the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB), has already completed a feasibility study on the BSMIA Project in order to select a suitable land where the airport will be constructed.
BSMIA will enhance air connectivity and establish Bangladesh as a centre of air communication between the eastern and western countries. The airport will be constructed on 8000 acres of land and potential sites in Dhaka district, Madaripur district and Munshiganj district are under consideration.
The consulting company has already completed feasibility studies of the project at Zajira and Shibchar and other parts adjacent to both sides of the Padma Bridge. Earlier, state minister for civil aviation and tourism Md Mahbub Ali had said the airport would be located near the Padma River.
And now the government is thinking to construct the new mega airport somewhere near the Padma multipurpose bridge. Earlier the CAAB signed a contract with a Japanese consultancy agency in 2016 to carry out a feasibility study on BSMIA project. “After the completion of feasibility study the location will be finalised and the main work of the project will begin,” a high up of CAAB said. He said based on Japanese firm Nippon Koei Co. Ltd.’s feasibility study report they have also a prepared a report.
“And the CAAB has already submitted report to the civil aviation and tourism ministry. The ministry is now checking, crosschecking and evaluating the report. The ministry will instruct the CAAB to begin the construction work very soon,” CAAB Chairman Air-Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman told Bangladesh Post on Wednesday.
After getting feedback from the relevant ministry, he said the report will be sent to the prime minister for her approval. “Based on the prime minister’s decision, the CAAB will sit with the local lawmakers and stakeholders in this regard,” the CAAB Chairman said. According to civil aviation and tourism ministry officials, the ministry has given emphasis on upgrading and renovating other international and domestic airports.
“Country’s airports will be equipped with modern facilities and technology. Many people travel in the country’s domestic route. And BSMIA will be the aviation hub for both domestic and international routes. Besides, the airport will also become the hub for west after construction of Bangabandhu Mega International Airport. “ About Nippon Koei Co. Ltd, he said the consultancy firm has already completed the feasibility work for selecting land at a cost of taka 120 crore.
“We will begin the design work after final scrutiny. It will be like Singapore Changi Airport, Dubai International Airport or London’s Heathrow Airport. And the airport will be equipped with all modern facilities,” Mafidur Rahman said. The government had selected Mymensingh’s Trishal as the first site. Later, it chose Arial Beel in Dohar, but had to backtrack amid protests by local residents in 2011. According to CAAB, the proposed airport needs an 8km by 5km space.
The proposed airport will be able to cater to 400 passenger flights and 200 cargo flights on its three runways. The initial cost of the project was estimated at Tk 500 billion. Earlier a team also inspected eight new places: Keyain, Char Bilaspur, Gajaria in Munshiganj, Singair in Manikganj, Char Janajat and Rajair in Madaripur, Bhanga in Faridpur and Baghiar Beel in Gopalganj.