Vol. 4 Num 338 Thu. May 13, 2004  

Osmai Airport expansion work begins in July
'Wide-bodied aircraft to land before next Hajj season'

Work on Sylhet Osmani Intern-ational Airport development project will start soon.

State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Mir Nasir Uddin during a visit to the airport on Tuesday ordered officials to begin the work "as soon as possible" so that wide bodied aircraft can land in the airport before the next Hajj season.

He reviewed preparations and asked the officials to take up the runway expansion work first. The runway will be extended from 9000 feet now to 10,250 feet and widened, Civil Aviation Authority sources said.

The project includes construction of a new terminal building, a boarding bridge, a new taxiway, a fire-fighting station and boundary wall; land development and other miscellaneous civil, electrical and mechanical work.

Work orders will be issued by June this year and work will be started by July, to be completed in 14 months, the officials said.

Though the project cost was earlier fixed at Tk 111 crore, it may increase by 10 percent because of slight modification in the plan, they said.

Later, the minister inaugurated a duty-free shop of Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (BPC) at the international departure lounge.

Mir Nasir Uddin also visited the Sylhet Shishu Park being built by a private company on a land near the airport road leased from Parjatan Corporation.

While inaugurating the duty free shop, the minister said the number of tourists from abroad doubled last year over that of the previous year because of government's reformative measures. The trend will continue.

He said the government is patronising development of tourism facilities in the private sector and urged investors to avail the opportunity.

Historical places in the country will be developed to attract tourists. Facilities will be created at Madhabkunda in Moulvibazar, the lone natural water fall in the country, to attract tourists, he said.