Published: 06:24 AM, 07 October 2023
Aviators are counting the hours as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will make a soft opening of the exciting third terminal of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) on Saturday with the slogan of "connecting dreams to reality" towards making Bangladesh an aviation hub.
"We can say the third terminal is the first milestone to realize Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's dream to make Bangladesh an aviation hub," Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) chairman Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman told BSS on Friday.
He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will partially open the new scenic terminal witnessing the trial of a Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight from the new establishment.
The CAAB chairman said that 90 per cent work of the new terminal has been done for the soft launching and from Saturday airlines would be able to use new parking pay of the terminal.
The third terminal will be fully operational for passengers' use at the end of next year after the completion of systems integration and calibration.
"The new terminal will change the country's image with all world-class amenities and passenger services," said the CAAB chief.
He said the third terminal's features with its immaculate floor and eye-catching patterns on the ceiling with enough natural light are very sophisticated.
"Passengers will appreciate the world-class facilities of the new terminal which we never had here before," the CAAB chairman added.
The 12 boarding gates with double entry bridges of the third terminal will be operational by next year while the additional 14 boarding bridges are expected to be installed afterwards.
The third terminal project, costing Taka 21,300 crore, commenced on December 28, 2019. The government contributed Taka 5,000 crore, while the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) provided the remaining funding.
Covering an area of 542,000 square metres, the third terminal will boast a floor space of 230,000 square metres, housing 115 check-in counters, 66 departure immigration desks, 59 arrival immigration and 3 VIP immigration desks.
Upon full-fledged operation of the 3rd terminal, Dhaka Airport's annual passenger and cargo handling capacity is expected to double.
The annual passenger handling capacity of the HSIA would be 24 million (including the old terminals) which is now only eight million and the airport can handle 500,000 tonnes of cargo each year.
The construction work of 37 new aircraft parking areas and two taxiways connecting to the apron area have already been completed.
The third terminal is designed to connect with a multimodal transport system to enable passengers to enter and exit the international airport smoothly.
The new terminal will be connected with the elevated expressway, underground railway (MRT-5, Kamalapur to airport portion) and also with the airport railway station through an underground tunnel.
Besides, hajj pilgrims will be able to access the third terminal from Ashkona hajj camp through an underground tunnel.
The third terminal is expected to be operated and maintained by a Japanese company under a public-private partnership.
Ahead of the third terminal's full operation, different foreign airlines are eyeing to start their operation from Dhaka Airport, which is expected to play a great role in taking the country's aviation sector forward, experts said.