• Wednesday, Nov 14, 2018
  • Last Update : 07:26 pm

Cargo area turns dumping station of aircraft

  • Published at 10:57 pm May 6th, 2017
Cargo area turns dumping station of aircraft
Several airlines are alleged to have parked aircraft occupying a large cargo area at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka. Of them, the United Airways has dumped eight airlines, GMG Airlines two, Asia Airways one and Sky Capital one aircraft. United Airways has not been in operation since January last year. Bangladesh Biman earlier removed its aircraft from the area. At a meeting recently, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Civil Aviation urged the airlines to clear the aircraft from cargo area so cargo operations are not hampered at the country’s main airport. “We cannot allow airlines to make the airport a graveyard,” said Kamrul Ashraf Khan, a member of the committee. Although the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (Caab) has repeatedly served notices to the airlines, they are yet to take any steps to remove the aircraft. Talking to the Dhaka Tribune, Caab Chairman Air Vice-Marshal Ehsanul Gani Chowdhury said there is already a lack of space in the airport as different airlines are adding new aircraft to their fleets. “We, therefore, need to remove all the aircraft dumped in the cargo area.” A Biman official said once the grounded aircraft were removed, there would be a lot of free space for keeping cargo. A Caab official said if the aircraft were not cleared from cargo area, it might cause accidents inside the airport. The authorities can also go for auction the aircraft as per the law if not removed, officials said. Around 500 tonnes of export goods and over 600 tonne import goods arrive in the country’s main airport every day, Caab data shows. According to United Airways, the airlines has 11 aircraft in its fleet for  operating flights in eight domestic and in seven international routes. The last flight was operated by an MD 83 aircraft to Kuala Lumpur in mid-January, 2016 which finally returned to Dhaka after one of its engines was shut down at mid-air. Caab said the United Airways had not paid its dues of aeronautical and non-aeronautical charges worth over Tk125 crore. The Dhaka Tribune tried to contact United Airways managing director Tasbirul Ahmed Choudhury several times over phone for his comments. But the phone was not picked.