Staff Correspondent: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina while partially inaugurating the newly constructed third terminal of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport said that Bangladesh will be the hub of international air transport in the future. He said, “Bangladesh’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport or Cox’s Bazar International Airport will be the hub of international aviation due to its geographical location.”.
The Prime Minister unveiled the plaque at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport’s third terminal yesterday at the terminal’s ‘soft opening’ ceremony.
He said, due to the geographical location of Bangladesh, this Bangladesh will be the hub of international air transport once Cox’s Bazar or our Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. We believe and that’s how we want to make it.
The head of government said, we have seen some changes in the world at different times, like Hong Kong was once an international hub, then Singapore, Thailand and now Dubai. I believe that one day our Cox’s Bazar or Hazrat Shahjalal will be the international air transport hub as it is the middle of the eastern and western skyways.
He said, everyone will come here for refueling. In fact, you will enjoy the beauty of Bangladesh and if you come down to Cox’s Bazar, you will be able to enjoy the beauty of our long sandy sea beach. That is how we want to build Bangladesh. His government will make arrangements to improve business and tourism by making people’s communication easier by developing technology. After the era of sleek aircraft, the fleet now has 21 state-of-the-art aircrafts, which are flying to different countries of the world. Moreover, if this third terminal is fully operational, we will create 2500 new routes.
Pointing out that his government has established ‘Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Aviation and Aerospace University’ at Lalmonirhat with emphasis on research as well as training in various developed countries of the world to create skilled manpower, he said that in the future the Prime Minister said, ‘We see our neighboring countries go to the moon. So, why should we stay behind, we will also go to the moon. That is how we will build smart manpower in the future.
Civil Aviation and Tourism State Minister Mahbub Ali, Japan’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Masahiro Komura, Civil Aviation and Tourism Secretary Mokammel Hossain and Civil Aviation Authority (CAAB) Chairman Air Vice Marshal Md. Mofidur Rahman spoke on the occasion. Japan’s Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Saito Tetsu was also present.
Earlier, the Minister of State for Civil Aviation and Tourism welcomed him when he arrived at the third terminal premises.
Later, the Prime Minister visited the Terminal-3 circuit and its various departments.
He also attended a dress rehearsal to clear immigration through his baggage checking and was later given a boarding pass.
The head of government said, we want our country to move forward. Let the aviation sector develop further. No one has taken such steps of development in this sector in the past. Those who were in power for 29 years could not give anything to the people of the country. Awami League has given it. I have created a sense of self-esteem in people. Standing tall with dignity in the chest of the world.
Sheikh Hasina said that air routes are essential for the development of people’s communication and trade. Seaways, railways and air are of great importance. Especially the main way and vehicle of our communication with foreign countries is the air. So, we are taking it seriously and working accordingly.
He said, we will buy some new aircraft. MoU signed with Airbus. They will also give us some loans. I have plans to arrange inter-district air connectivity.
Stating that his government has a plan to build a new runway in Shahjalal in the context of future increase in passengers, the head of government said that it was his strong desire that the plane would take off near the sea water in Cox’s Bazar. That is how the runway of Cox’s Bazar is being built.
He said that construction work is going on in Shahjalal despite the epidemic of Covid-19. Installed the terminal within 4 years. We are also arranging for Z Fuel to arrive directly at Shahjalal Airport.
The Prime Minister said that today the whole world is worried about the impact of climate change. We have made ‘Delta Plan-2100’ aiming at that. In 2021, it got the status of developing country from least developed country. The journey of developing countries will begin in 2026. Our aim is to build a ‘Smart Bangladesh’ with the aim of what Bangladesh will look like in 2041.
Sheikh Hasina said, when we came to power in 1996, there was no boarding bridge or parking lot at the airport. So since then, we have been taking initiative to develop this airport. Along with that, we also built Chittagong and Sylhet International Airports. We have also taken up the Dhaka Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport development project. From 1996 to 2001, the development of this airport began during this period.
He said, we are taking steps to make our airports more modern and provide adequate facilities. Because, many people of our country live in different countries of the world. They work in different countries, sending remittances for us. They also commute. Moreover, the geographical location of Bangladesh is on one side of the Indian Ocean and on the other side of the Pacific Ocean. Also, our Bay of Bengal is between these three routes. This place is also very important since ancient times.
He also said that if the third terminal of Shahjalal International Airport is opened, 1 crore 2 million passengers will be able to use this terminal. But I believe it will be around 2 crores.
Notably, the third terminal is designed to connect with a multimodal transport system to enable passengers to enter and exit the international airport.
The new terminal will be connected to the airport railway station via elevated expressway, underground railway (MRT-5, Kamalapur to Airport section) and an underground tunnel.
Besides, pilgrims can go to the third terminal through the underground tunnel from Ashkona Haji Camp.
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