The United Kingdom is likely to announce the withdrawal of a ban on direct cargo flights from Dhaka to London on Sunday with some observations, says a government official.
The official at the Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry, requesting anonymity, on Thursday said the announcement on lifting the ban might come from a joint press conference on Sunday afternoon.
Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister AKM Shahjahan Kamal and British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Alison Blake are scheduled to brief the media at 2:30pm at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport conference room, said the official.
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The British government is also likely to provide an elaborate 'update' on aviation security measures, said the official.
During his Dhaka visit, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on February 9 indicated the ban’s withdrawal soon saying they were very pleased with the progress the Bangladesh government and Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh has made so far.
"The aviation authority in Bangladesh and the government of Bangladesh made huge efforts. We are very pleased to see the progress that has been made," Johnson said.
Also Read- Boris Johnson: Dhaka-London direct cargo flights will resume shortly
On March 8, 2016, the British government imposed the ban on direct cargo flights from Dhaka to London after Biman Bangladesh Airlines failed to pass safety and security tests.
Biman's cargo business shrank 22.54% last fiscal year on the back of the ban, according to available data.
In fiscal year 2016-17, Biman earned Tk244 crore from its cargo business in contrast to Tk315 crore the previous year. The state-run carrier transported 33,542 tons of cargo last fiscal year, down 18% year-on-year, the data shows.
Bangladesh expects a formal letter about lifting the ban from the UK Department for Transport as the authority has installed an explosive detection system, explosive detection devices, and a liquid explosive detection system in the export cargo zone of the airport.
A dual view x-ray scanning machine, an under vehicle scanning system, and a barrier gate with card reader were also installed as per the UK's advice, officials said.