Use of Country’s Airspace

Syndicate loots Tk 25cr every year

An organised syndicate, in association with some staff members of the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB), is allegedly continuing to loot over Tk 1.27 crore every month, amounting to more than Tk 25 crore annually, from the organisation, according to Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) report . Providing non-scheduled flight permission to their chosen companies in order to use the country’s aeronautical space, this organised gang is taking away huge amounts of money under the very nose of the authority concerned, sources in CAAB said.

Allegations are there that CAAB secretly completed the agreement without taking approval from finance and public administration ministries.
On getting such allegations, the ACC is already in a move to find out the real culprits. The watchdog has already sent a letter to the CAAB chairman seeking necessary documents.
It is to be noted, as per the international regulation any non-scheduled flight before overflying, landing or refueling in the country’s territory needs prior permission. CAAB is responsible in this regard. For scheduled flights, permission for six months is granted at a time. On the other hand, permission for non-scheduled flights depends case to case. This system is applicable in every country.

It was learnt that two ACC assistant directors Md Saidujjaman (search and investigation-1) and Md Gulshan Anowara Pradhan (search and investigation-2) are appointed to submit their inquiry report. The letter in this regard was sent on May 6 where they wanted to know how CAAB appointed ‘ASL System’ to conduct non-scheduled flight automation work.

At the same time, they also sought all documents from the beginning of the work order. For each flyover what amount CAAB gets from ASL, since beginning to till now what amount CAAB earned from the company, were also asked to be provided. Besides, they also sought information regarding what amount the ASL system received from foreign airlines for each permission, and the total earnings from the beginning till now. The ASL system has been asked to attach all documents with the reply.

They also wanted a detailed report on the company’s memorandum, directors names and addresses and the account number where the foreign amounts are deposited. In the Md Saidujjaman (search and investigation-1) letter allegations against the CAAB state that the authority made secret deal to appoint their preferred company ASL System to collect non-scheduled flight charge, through which they loot over $2.70 lakh each month.

In the letter, he also wanted the agreement paper and other legal documents between these two organizations. In this regard, CAAB director Ziaul Kabir (flight safety and regulation) acknowledged the letter. He said ACC can conduct any investigation based on information, but that the allegations they are making are baseless.

‘There is no chance to embezzle money; earlier CAAB did not get any fees for permitting non-scheduled flights. From now on, CAAB will get $30 for each permission. The amount fixed by the authority for non-scheduled flight overfly, technical landing or refueling will totally be deposited to the CAAB account,’ he added.

He further claimed that through open tender process, the job order was provided. Representatives of concerned ministries were also present in the tendering process. He continued, at present there are three branches of manpower in the CAAB department. Earlier, for non-scheduled flight permission, applicants had to wait three to four days. But, now it takes only an hour. This has increased revenue collection.

Earlier, airliners were unable to get permission on Fridays and Saturdays, but now everything is conducted through automation. If anyone applies for permission, it is reached to different agencies and officials through apps. And permission is also provided through apps.