Dhaka airport, main gateway of the country, was designed as a domestic airport in early 1960s. It has a single runway with annual passenger handling capacity of only 8m.
According to a report by the Civil Aviation Authority, Bangladesh (Caab), the existing terminal building of the airport will be insufficient by 2018 and a new terminal will be required by 2019.
The construction of a new terminal will only delay the inevitable. The new terminal will be redundant after 2035. In order to tackle the growing air traffic, a new airport will be required.
Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon said Caab has already taken measures to expand the existing facilities of the airport and build a new terminal.
In this regard, Caab has appointed Nippon Koei Co Ltd, a Japanese firm, for consultancy in building a third terminal and other infrastructural development at the airport.
The consultancy firm’s report echoed Caab's report. It said that the existing terminal of Dhaka Airport will become inadequate by 2018 and new terminal will be required by 2019.
Aviation expert Kazi Wahidul Alam said: “It’s impossible to provide an integrated security services as the existing terminal building. Moreover, Caab will not be able to ensure other services due to lack of sufficient infrastructure.”
Moreover, the passenger terminal and cargo handling building are not spacious enough to implement the modern five-level security concept.
“I would suggest, to the authorities concerned to take quick steps for building a new terminal as well as a new airport to meet the air traffic growth,” Wahidul continued.
Besides, Dhaka airport is not capable to handle new generation (F code) aircrafts like Airbus 380, B747, B777-300 ER etc. In addition, the airport is surrounded by urban residential areas and cantonment zone that restrict its future expansion.