Bangladesh - Dhaka airport runway closure from March 2022, n...| MENAFN.COM

Saturday, 22 January 2022 05:41 GMT

Bangladesh - Dhaka airport runway closure from March 2022, not December 2021


(MENAFN- Bangladesh Monitor)

Dhaka: The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh has postponed the four-month long repair work on the runway of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in the capital. The repair work was scheduled to start in December. But now it will take place from March 10 to June 10, 2022.

During that time, flight operations will be suspended for eight hours daily from 12 am to 8 am, the civil aviation authority has announced in a revised circular.

But until March 10, 2022, airlines will operate flights according to their usual schedule.

The airport runway closure will take place because the authorities is going to build a high-speed taxiway for the Third Terminal during the repair work, according to a notice sent to airlines.

They made the previous announcement on November 10, just when air travel returned to normalcy following over a year of pandemic-induced disruptions at Dhaka airport.

The development drew mixed reactions from aviation stakeholders who recognised the importance of renovating the runways, but believe the work could have been done at the beginning of the pandemic when flight services were suspended.

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, air travel has been restricted around the world and in Bangladesh as most commercial carriers were grounded, with only cargo flights remaining in operation. That would have been the perfect time for CAAB to carry out the repair works at HSIA.

The airport officials are saying, 12 am to 8 am is the busiest time for international flights.

Many airlines are concerned about service disruption that could take place during the runway closure at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.

This eight-hour shutdown will make 12 international flights, operated by Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Saudia Airlines, Turkish Airlines and Malaysian Airlines, to reschedule, according to reports.

Reports further added that around 85-90 flights will have to depart and land within the 16-hour window, meaning the ground handling and other ancillary services provided by the airport authority will be severely hampered, claimed different airline operators.

Hence the airport authorities must increase ground-handling capabilities and the other facilities beforehand, said airline officials.

A sufficient number of check-in counters, boarding bridges, security check-in counters, baggage loading and unloading facilities and other related facilities are required for the smooth operation of all flights within the 16-hour window, they claimed, added reports.

However, the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) said the runway closure will not cause much disruption.

CAAB said they have already discussed the matter with the airline operators and other stakeholders and have taken the necessary measures to prevent any disruption. The steps include increasing manpower for ground handling.

If an emergency landing is required during the closure of the runway from December 10, the airlines will have to use Osmani International Airport in Sylhet, said AHM Touhid-Ul Ahsan, Executive Director of HSIA, mentioned a report.

Per day, HSIA sees 27 airlines operate 85 to 90 flights, carrying around 10,000 passengers to different destinations, the Exec Director noted.

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