Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina says that Bangladesh’s geographic location makes it a ‘convenient connecting hub’ between the Eastern and Western countries.
“It’s essential to utilise this opportunity (geographical location) properly for the country’s socioeconomic development,” she said on Tuesday while inaugurating the upgradation work of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.
She also underscored the need for ensuring safe and hassle-free journey for the air passengers to further enhance the country’s image abroad.
She said that the cargo management at the airport should further be improved.
Describing the airport as a ‘mirror of a country’, Hasina said the foreigners tend to make up their mind about Bangladesh on the basis of their first impressions gathered at the airport.
“The image of the country would be brightened if overall development, quality services and security are maintained here (airport). Besides, the country would benefit economically and attract more investment and tourists if we can uphold this image,” she observed.
Officials have said that the standard of the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport would increase and quality air transport would be possible once the project for strengthening its taxiway is implemented.
Of the estimated total project cost of Tk 5.30 billion, the Denmark government is providing Tk 4.45 billion as project assistance while the Civil Aviation Authority, Bangladesh (CAAB) is providing the remaining Tk 850 million.
CAAB is supervising the upgradation project which will be completed within 21 months.
The officials said after this project is completed, the Shahjalal airport’s taxiway category will go up from Code E from Code D of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
The Prime Minister inaugurated the project pressing a button at a ceremony.
Against 4.3 million air passengers using the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in 2009, 5.2 million had used it in 2012.
The Prime Minister emphasized the formation of a special force for heightened security at the airports.
Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Faruk Khan, Civil Aviation and Tourism Secretary Khorshed Alam Chowdhury, Denmark Ambassador to Bangladesh Svend Olling and Civil Aviation Chairman Mahmud Hasan, among others, also spoke at the function.