(MENAFN - Bangladesh Monitor) Dhaka: For the first time ever in Bangladesh, test runs of flight takeoff and landing have been successfully completed at Lalmonirhat Airport on March 12 by Bangladesh Air Force. Two Fixed Wings of the air force conducted takeoff and landing all day. This test run operation has been initiated in order to launch the airport to meet the long-standing demand of the district.
Air Chief Marshal Masihuzzaman Serniabat visited the airport on March 13. After visiting, he took off for Dhaka via an aircraft from the Lalmonirhat airport.
According to various sources, in 1931, then British Government constructed the airport by acquiring 166 acre of land in Mahendranagar and Harati union of Lalmanirhat Sadar upazila. During World War, the allied forces used this 2nd largest airport in Asia. After the war ended in 1945, it was abandoned.
However, in 1958, flight services started again but only for a short time.
After the country's independence, there were talks of locating the new headquarter of the air force in this airport. But it was never implemented. As a result, 4 kilometre runway, huge tarmac, hangers and taxiway - all of these remained abandoned ever since.
From 1983 onwards, the air force authorities developed an agriculture project here.
This airport of Burimari land port will play an important role in connecting passengers from India, Bhutan and Nepal to Dhaka.
Besides, to expand trade in the region including the land port, the district residents have been demanding to launch the airport for a long time.
To fulfil this demand, the current government decided to launch the airport. Thus, a team of the Air Force's Jessore Base is doing test runs of flight takeoff and landing on the abandoned runway.
On March 12, two small passenger carrying planes have successfully taken off and landed multiple times throughout the day.
A Lalmonirhat Air Force official said that the work is going on to verify the feasibility. 'To check feasibility, the engineers of the air force are doing runway scans by conducting flight takeoff and landing as well as measuring the airspace. After being completing the feasibility test, we will know if we can launch the airport,' he stated.
The air force official added, 'To launch the airport, plenty of works need to be done including the border wall.'
From a letter signed by Lalmonirhat Air Force Commander Squadron Leader Khairul Mamun, sent to different offices, it has been known that an official decision has been taken to launch the Lalmonirhat Airport. Therefore, the security forces and the fire service have been asked to remain prepared as Fixed Wing (L 410) takes off and lands to test the airport's feasibility.