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2024-06-23 12:07:36

Aircrafts to land touching sea line in Cox’s Bazar within December

Jayashree Bhaduri, Ayubul Islam

Aircrafts to land touching sea line in Cox’s Bazar within December

Cox's Bazar Airport is going to have the longest runway in the country. The runway extension work is about 95 percent complete, which is visible under the sea. Next December, the aircraft will touch the blue waterline of the sea and land on the runway. However, there is an obstacle in the announcement of the international airport.

Air Vice Marshal M Mofidur Rahman, chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAAB), told The Bangladesh Pratidin, "Carpeting work on the second layer in Cox's Bazar Airport is still left. However, the work of extending the runway in the sea has been completed. Carpeting work will be done when winter comes at the end of rainy season. The work of this project will be completed by December.”

 He further said, "However, there will be a delay in announcing the international airport as there are some problems in this regard. There are still several structures inside the airport area that need to be removed. Several places are vacant. It is not possible to declare an international airport without solving the issues. For this, the cooperation of the local administration is required. As soon as these can be resolved, it is possible to declare the inauguration of international airport.”

 Sources related to the project said that the 9,000 feet runway of Cox's Bazar Airport is being increased to 10,700 feet. Of this, 1,700 feet is in the ocean. The aircraft will take off on this runway touching the waterline of the sea. A long runway is now visible under the sea. The progress of runway extension is 95 percent. The second phase of the project will be completed by next December.

Officials of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAAB) said that large aircraft such as Boeing 777 and Boeing 747 will be able to land at Cox's Bazar airport once the runway service is started. Tourism officials say that Cox's Bazar Airport will have the country's largest runway when the expansion work is completed. As a result, there will be radical changes in the tourism industry along with the improvement of air communication even during natural disasters. According to the information provided by the airport authority, the cost of the runway expansion project at Cox's Bazar Airport has been estimated at Tk 3,709,60,840. The duration of the project is from January 2019 to June 2024. However, as the work was not completed on time, it was extended by one more year till June 2025. The expenditure has been increased by Tk 1,794, 33, 75, 000.

The authorities said that the progress of the entire project till last April was 80.43 percent. The actual progress of the contract work till March this year was 82.95 percent. Project Director of Cox's Bazar Airport Expansion Project Yunus Bhuiyan said, “The work of the project is progressing at a fast pace. Hopefully, the project will be completed by next December. And when it is completed, it will make Cox's Bazar recognized to the outside world as the district of country's largest runway. Apart from this, Cox's Bazar Airport will change if we can make the master plan for the next 20 years.”

Cox's Bazar Airport Manager Golam Mortaza Hossain told The Bangladesh Pratidin, "We have increased the flight schedule. At present, an average of 25 to 30 passengers’ aircrafts and six to eight cargos aircrafts are flying at Cox's Bazar airport every day. The airport is almost ready for night flights as well.”

Cox's Bazar Airport started its journey as an internal airport in 1956. Four airlines now operate domestic flights at the airport which is located one and a half kilometers from Cox's Bazar city and 396 kilometers from Dhaka. In the first phase, the runway was widened from 6,775 feet to 9,000 feet and from 120 feet to 200 feet. In 2019, the government undertook a project worth Tk 1,568,860,000, aiming at raising the international standard of the airport and providing foreign tourists with a hassle-free journey to the world's longest beach.

(The report was published on print and online versions of The Bangladesh Pratidin on June 23 and rewritten in English by Lutful Hoque Khan) ​​

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