Bangladesh on Sunday approved plans for a new international airport near Dhaka to be completed by 2013, officials said.
The USD 7.2 billion Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib International Airport , named after the Bangladesh independence leader, will have two runways with provision for a third and will be connected to the capital by an elevated expressway and a monorail.
The exact location of Bangaldesh’s third international airport will be chosen from three possible sites within 50 km (31 miles) of Dhaka, following a feasibility study, civil aviation officials said.
Construction of the airport will be funded under a public private partnership project.
“The project, proposed by the Finance Minister, Abul Maal Abdul Muhith in the parliament last year was approved at a meeting of the cabinet on Sunday,” a senior government official told reporters.
Dhaka’s existing Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, opened in 1980, has only one runway and could not be expanded due the a lack of land.
This is the first project approved after the PPP guideline was finalised last month.
The meeting of the committee was held yesterday at the Cabinet Division with Finance Minister AMA Muhith in the chair.
The estimated cost of building the airport named Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib International Airport is Tk 50,000 crore, according to a pre-feasibility study by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism.
Alongside the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka, the government has decided in principle to build the second international airport near Dhaka.
A nine-member pre-feasibility study committee has been formed headed by a member of the Civil Aviation Authority. After visiting seven sites in Gazipur, Tangail and Mymensingh, the committee selected three among those.
A high official of the cabinet division said the final selection will be made after consulting with the private investors.
The cabinet committee also okayed four projects of Bangladesh Railway involving Tk 900 crore to reinstate two rail routes and develop a third one to ensure smooth supply of fuel for the upcoming rental power plants.
Of the total amount, Tk 280 crore will be funded available Indian credit under a deal signed recently.
The communications ministry also sought permission of the cabinet committee on economic affairs for 10 percent advance payment for the contractors.
Re-establishing rail link on Panchuria-Faridpur-Pukuria route and setting up of rail track on Pukuria-Bhanga route will cost Tk 267 crore.
Under another project, renovation of Sholoshahar-Dohazari and Fatehabad-Nazirhat rail routes will be implemented at a cost of Tk 203 crore.
These routes will be used for supplying fuel to Dohazari, Hathazari and Faridpur power plants.
Under another project the ministry will procure 10 broad gauge (BG) diesel electric locomotives costing Tk 217 crore. The ministry will also spend another Tk 183 crore for collecting 180 BG bogey oil tank wagon and six brake vans.
The government is going to import one lakh tonnes of rice from Vietnam through government-to-government negotiation without floating any tender.
The cabinet committee has exempted the food ministry from following the rules of PPA
Not only has air traffic increased dramatically in Bangladesh, but cargo transportation has also escalated, and none of the airports in the country are presently equipped to handle the massive flow of trade and passengers. Over the last few years, external trade in Bangladesh has grown from $1 billion to $35 billion, and airports such as Shahjalal International Airport are taking strain due to their lack of facilities and space to accommodate cargo. It has therefore been decided that a new airport should be built, which is able to service the cargo industry, as well as passengers