Airport’s 3rd terminal to open in Oct

The Report Desk

Published: February 24, 2024, 10:30 AM

Airport’s 3rd terminal to open in Oct

Photo: JICA Bangladesh

The much anticipated third terminal of the Dhaka airport is likely to be fully ready for use in October, enhancing the passenger and cargo handling capacity, reports national English daily The Daily Star.

The contractor, Aviation Dhaka Consortium, will finish physical work by April 5 and the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) will take charge of the terminal the next day.

"System integration, calibration and testing of equipment are done … The terminal will be fully ready for use in October," CAAB Chairman Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman said.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina opened the third terminal for partial use on October 7 last year. The Tk 21,300 crore project commenced on December 28, 2019.

Covering an area of 542,000 square metres, the third terminal has 230,000 square metres of floor space, 115 check-in counters, and 66 departure, 59 arrival and three VIP immigration desks.

When fully operational, the annual passenger handling capacity of the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport will be 24 million, up from the current 8 million. Cargo handling capacity, now 500,000 tonnes, will also multiply.

According to a primary estimation by consultancy firm Nippon Koei, a workforce of 6,000 skilled people will be required for operations, maintenance and security at the terminal.

Almost 4,000 people will be required just to maintain security, it added.

Since such a large workforce will not be available by October, the terminal will not be fully functional in the first few months when CAAB and Biman Bangladesh Airlines will run it, officials said.

CAAB expects that the people needed for the jobs will be hired by early next year, officials said, adding that the facility is likely to be fully operational in February next year.

CAAB officials say almost 30 organisations now provide passenger services and run the ground handling, immigration, and customs.

The government decided in principle to let a Japanese consortium under public private partnership operate and maintain the third terminal.

CAAB has already started discussions with a consortium of six Japanese companies. But it might take around a year to complete the formalities, sources said.

A "transactional advisor" appointed by the authorities is preparing a report which will be given to CAAB in April, officials said.

If everything is found okay in the report, it will be possible to sign an agreement with the Japanese consortium interested in providing ground handling services by August, they added.

The consortium will need around six months to prepare for the job.

Until the Japanese firm is ready, terminal-3 will be partially operational.

CAAB will make an announcement about the terminal‍‍`s operation in October.

While the Japanese consortium will handle the operations, CAAB will look after security.

"We will handle customs and immigration ourselves. The Japanese company will manage the airport, ensuring the services needed from the time a passenger enters the airport to the time they board a plane," said CAAB Chairman Mafidur.

The third terminal is designed to connect with a multimodal transport system to let passengers enter and exit smoothly.

The new terminal will be connected with the elevated expressway, underground railway, and the airport railway station through a tunnel.

Besides, hajj pilgrims will be able to access the third terminal from Ashkona hajj camp through another tunnel.

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