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Disappointed with Biman’s ground handling and cargo services at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, the authorities decided to outsource the work of the new third terminal to a company with international standards.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) recently made the decision amid widespread dissatisfaction among senior government officials and passengers over poor baggage handling services, sources within the agency said. regulatory authority.

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CAAB Chairman Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman said he had appointed a consultant to prepare an outline of the expected quality of ground services at the third terminal.

Sources said that once a company gets the job and the authorities are happy with its services, it could be given the job for the entire airport.

This would have a serious impact on Biman’s bottom line. Biman is likely to face huge losses as its main source of annual income – around Tk 1,500 crore – comes from ground handling services.

Even though ground handling is a key source of revenue for Biman, the company has apparently done little to ensure smooth management and services, aviation experts have claimed.

It seems that he gave in to the idea of ​​losing his job.

Biman’s managing director and CEO, Zahid Hossain, recently told a press conference that the government would assign ground handling work to those it deems suitable.

“I think there is no reason for Biman to be interested in this regard,” he added.

HSIA passengers have faced issues such as poor baggage handling for decades. It sometimes takes passengers over an hour to collect their checked baggage after arrival.

Even Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen criticized airport officials for the suffering of passengers.

“Expatriate Bangladeshis have contributed to the country’s economy through their hard-earned remittances, but they have to wait for hours to collect their luggage upon arrival,” he said.

Salman F Rahman, Private Industry and Investment Advisor to the Prime Minister, said: “An airport gives the first impression of a country. If the airport experience is bad, it makes a bad impression on the country.

CAAB chief Mafidur told the Daily Star: “Although Biman is trying to improve the quality of its ground handling services, it is not enough. We want to maintain and guarantee reliable services. ‘ground handling to international standards at the third terminal’.

“After completing all the procedures, we will issue an international tender to appoint an organization to provide ground handling and cargo services…” he said.

He said it would better serve passengers and increase government revenue.

Mafidur earlier told the media that Biman was repeatedly asked to handle each piece of luggage as if they were passengers, but Biman unfortunately did nothing.

Still, Biman could compete for the job, he said.

On which company could get the job, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, M Mahbub Ali, recently told the media, “Those who are deemed eligible by following all the rules and conditions will get the job. ground handling services. Our goal is to provide better services to passengers and for this we will do everything we can.”

Renowned architect Rohani Baharin designed the third terminal.

About 44.15 percent of the work was completed last month and the work is expected to be completed by next year, according to CAAB.

Mitsubishi and Fujita of Japan and Samsung of Korea are building the terminal for Tk 21,399 crore.

The three-storey terminal will have 2.30 lakh square meters of floor space. It will have 115 check-in counters, 64 departure and 64 arrival immigration counters, 27 baggage scanners, 12 boarding bridges and 16 carousels.

It will also have a new parking lot for 1,230 vehicles and a new 63,000 square meter import and export freight complex.

The terminal will have space to park 37 aircraft on the apron.

HSIA can currently handle eight million passengers per year. About 130 domestic and international flights carry 25,000 to 30,000 passengers every day.

But the number of passengers is expected to reach 14 million per year by 2025 and 24.8 million by 2035, according to sources at CAAB.