The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) started the reconstruction work of an asphalt concrete runway overlay at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport yesterday after procrastinating for six years.
With this, the 10,500 feet lone runway of the airport is likely to get enough physical strength to handle heavyweight and wide-bodied modern aircraft.
Abdul Momen Ltd will complete the task at Tk 187 crore starting from October by June next year. The company in association with technical experts from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology undertook preparatory work on April 1.
From November 1 to till the end of the work, there will be no flights at the airport at night when the task will be performed, said Air Commodore Mahmud Hussain, CAAB chairman.
"We are working hard to build an international standard runway for the airport, which now handles many modern aircraft that are heavyweight and wide-bodied."
The last time the runway got an asphalt concrete overlay was in 1996, which was mainly meant for medium weight aircraft, he said.
Since then, there developed several cracks on the runway surface, as the lifetime of that overlay expired six years ago, Hussain said.
"We were supposed have it redone by 2006. So the job was due for a long time now," he said while addressing the inaugural ceremony at the airport.
Faruk Khan, civil aviation and tourism minister, attended the programme, and said: "This task is very significant to maintain the standard of an international airport capable of handling modern planes."
At present, around 31 local and foreign airlines operate at the country's main airport, where on average 190 aircraft land and take off a day.
Abdul Monem, chairman and managing director of Abdul Monem Group of Companies, and Azad Zahirul Islam, director of CAAB, also spoke.