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Govt to revamp airport security

Tk 60cr project to be placed before ECNEC soon

Published : Sunday, 16 June, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 729

The government has finally taken steps to boost security measures of the country's three international airports. To enhance the security measures, some modern equipment including two Explosive Detection Systems (EDS) and six body scanners would be installed in the airports.
The Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry has proposed the government to take up a project for enhancement of security measures for the country's international airports, spending around Tk 60 crore to buy two EDS, six body scanners and a double cabin pick up for the airport's immigration authority.
Although the Civil Aviation Authority Bangladesh (CAAB) has taken steps to install the modern equipment last yeat, it has given emphasis recently after experiencing an attempt to hijack a Biman aircraft Moyurponkhi in February and two incidents of passing immigration channel with firearms.
After the incidents, passengers from various countries and the international community normally use these airports have expressed their frustration over the entire security system of the airports.
The Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry has already sent its final proposal to the Planning Commission bringing some changes in its previous proposal, which was given back earlier, following the instruction of the Commission.
According to the Planning Commission and the Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry sources, the proposal might be placed in the meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) soon for approval. As soon as the proposal receives ECNEC clearance, the CAAB will start implementing the project.
The officials said that the project evaluation committee (PEC) of the Planning Commission has met at a meeting last October where the PEC suggested the Civil Aviation Ministry to bring some changes in the proposal. The Ministry has already implemented the suggestions and sent the final draft to the commission.
The project would be implemented by June in 2020 if the ECNEC led by the Prime Minister gives its approval on the project proposal. The CAAB will implement it, the Ministry officials said.
The Civil Aviation Ministry sources said the draft proposal was prepared following a survey report of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
In the report, JICA recommended to install two EDS in the export freight area and four body scanners for international immigration zone of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka. It also suggested installing two body scanners in Hazrat Shah Amanat International Airport in  Chattogram and Osmani International Airport in Sylhet.
The international agency has also agreed to provide necessary technical supports to install the EDS and body scanners in the airports.
Of the total expenditure, JICA will provide Tk 54.1 crore as loan support while the CAAB will spend the rests from its own fund. Under the project, the CAAB will buy two EDS, six body scanners and a double cabin pick up van. Necessary consultation services will also be taken from the project fund.
In the project proposal, Civil Aviation and Tourism Secretary Mohibul Haque said the security system of the international airports is now the major concern for the country. The government wants to beef up the security measures to ensure safety and security of all passengers. Once the project is implemented, it would be ensured by installing the modern equipment.
Subir Kishore Chowdhury, a member of Planning Commission, said in his opinion on the project that once the project is implemented, security measures of the three international airports will be improved further. It would help the authority to attract more foreign investors and tourists.

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