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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Tuesday, December 4, 2012
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9-Hr Runway Shutdown

Biman first to falter

314 passengers suffer for 19 hours

A Biman flight has become the first victim of the nine-hour shutdown period of Shahjalal International Airport's runway, resulting in delay for over 19 hours and causing immense suffering to 314 Jeddah-bound passengers.

Departure of the age-old DC-10 aircraft of Biman Bangladesh Airlines was cancelled around 10:30pm on Sunday as problem surfaced in its GPS (global positioning system) soon after it started taxing, sources said.

Within around half an hour, Biman engineers fixed the glitch, but by the time the runway was shut, and therefore, the airport authorities did not allow the aircraft to take off.

Meanwhile, due to the delay, another 314 passengers, many of who are hajj pilgrims and were supposed to fly in from Jeddah by the DC-10 aircraft, got stuck there.

Biman, however, claims that they arranged boarding at hotels and foods for the stranded passengers in Jeddah.

The flight finally left the airport for Jeddah at 6:00pm yesterday and is supposed to return to Dhaka with the stranded passengers at 9:00am today.

Asked why it was not sent to Jeddah yesterday morning, a top Biman official, wishing anonymity, said, “We could have sent the aircraft at 8:00am, but did not do so because it would have returned during the runway closure time.”

The lone runway at the airport remains shut from 11:00pm to 8:00am every day from December 1 for maintenance work that will continue till April 30, 2013.

The daily airport traffic, which consists of 185 flights including 85 in international routes and handles around 15,000 passengers, will now have to be dealt within the 15-hour window.

Meanwhile, Civil Aviation Minister Faruk Khan had to cancel a scheduled press conference at the airport at 3:00pm yesterday on completion of the Biman's hajj operation this year since the pilgrims could not reach Dhaka in time due to the technical glitch of the DC-10 aircraft.

Biman sources said the hajj operation would be formally wrapped up though with the arrival of the flight, but some pilgrims will be arriving till December 8.

Although the operations in the ground handling, check-in, immigration and customs have so far been going good since the repair work started, passengers are raising complaints of unusual delay in finding luggage in the conveyer belts.

“I landed at the airport at 3:00pm, but it took me two hours to get my luggage,” said Fayzul Ahmed who yesterday returned from Saudi Arabia.

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No comments on this occasion; we have a minister who has no expertise to run a ministry and that we have all observed already when he was a commerce minister. Biman has potential, but we need someone who knows what is required to make it a success. As long as the present Chairman is there, AL government in power and Boeing deal is not in a comfortable is a waste of time to talk about Biman. By the way what happened to selection of a new CEO & MD; I suppose the Chairman is comfortable without having one…we get the point!

: OpeeMonir

Chittagong Airport with 2 major Runways is the grazing ground for Cattle! Great Planning.

: rch


  • Shabbir A Bashar
    Tuesday, December 4, 2012 09:03 AM GMT+06:00 (166 weeks ago)

    Biman, which operates probably no more than 20% of all flights from this airport, is the lucky winner of the jackpot: first to mess up! Or was it a deliberate machination of a rotten organization run by the most corrupt and incompetent - or expert scheming saboteurs in Asia? Please... Somebody shut this airline down and send all its employees packing. They are a complete disgrace.

  • Salahuddin Ayubi
    Tuesday, December 4, 2012 02:06 PM GMT+06:00 (166 weeks ago)

    Do we really need an airline that regularly causes sufferings to its passanger and on top of it it is running at a loss. We can not effort the luxury of paying for the inefficiency of our nation airline. Time has come to close it down. There is no reason to give this loss making and inefficient airline any more subsidy or support. We should close it down as ther are private enterprenuers prepared to invest in this sector. Please liquidate Biman and save the passengers from sufferings and harassment..





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