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Tk 566.76cr grant for facelift of 3 airports

Published : 04 Oct 2020 10:04 PM | Updated : 05 Oct 2020 06:49 AM

Government is going to take a project involving Tk 566.76 crore to modernise Jashore, Saidpur and Rajshahi airports in order to make them world-class one by ensuring safe flight and improving quality service.

The project titled "Asphalt development on runway surfaces at Jashore, Saidpur and Shah Makhdum (Rajshahi) Airports" to place in the next Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) meeting for approval, a planning commission official said.

The project has already been processed, he added.

Shamima Nargis, a member of the Physical Infrastructure Division of the Planning Commission, said, “The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) has undertaken a project for asphalt concrete overlay on the runways of Jashore, Saidpur and Rajshahi airports.”

The project is aimed at ensuring safe take-off and landing of planes and improving passenger service quality, she said adding that, “With these considerations, the project has been recommended for ECNEC approval.”

According to the project proposal sent by the Ministry of Aviation and Tourism, the cost of the project has been estimated at Tk 566.76 crore. Of this, Tk 456.40 crore will be spent from government funds and Tk 113.35 crore from the implementing agency Aviation Authority. 

The project will be implemented between January 2021 and 2023 with the approval of the ECNEC.

Under the project, the thickness of asphalt concrete overlay on the Jashore airport runway will be 280mm, while it will be 210mm for the Saidpur airport runway and 270mm for the runway of Shah Makhdum Airport in Rajshahi respectively.

Besides, the Airfield Ground Lighting (AGL) system will be upgraded along with the improvement of runway side stripe and drainage system.

The Jashore airport has been in operation as a full-fledged domestic airport over the last 50 years, established during the Second World War, said an official of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism.

At present, the airport handles an average of eight to nine passenger flights a day, he added.

He said, “Its runway is 8,600 ft long and 180 ft wide. The lifespan of the bituminous carpeting came to an end many years ago.”

He mentioned cracks are being developed along with undulations on the surface of the runway over time.

Saidpur airport, another important airport of the country, was built almost four decades ago. At present, about 14 to 15 flights are operated a day from the airport.

The length of the runway is 6,800 feet and its width is 120 feet along with the shoulder.

The pebbles have come off the bituminous carpeting and depression and cracks have developed on the runway due to repeated use of the runway by overloaded aircraft.

On the other hand, the runway of Shah Makhdum Airport is 6,600 feet long and 120 feet wide.

Four passenger aircrafts are operated a day from this airport which was built around three decades ago.

The CAAB has kept the runways operational by only carrying out repairing work.

Such condition of the runways poses risks for aircraft.

However, the project is proposed to conduct ancillary activities including asphalt concrete over-laying on the runways and installation of runway lighting systems on the runways to ensure safe take-off and landing at the three mentioned airports.