ICAO ready to support to make Bangladesh as regional aviation hub

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Secretary General Juan Carlos Salazar today said his organization is ready to provide all policy and capacity building support to Bangladesh to make Dhaka’s vision of becoming a regional aviation hub into a reality.

“We are really impressed to see Bangladesh’s vision to support Civil Aviation as a main driver for economic and social development … (and) this is something that (ICAO) decided to support,” he said at a press briefing after concluding the five-day 58th Conference of the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) of the ICAO Asia and Pacific Region at a city hotel.

CAAB chairman Air Vice Marshal Mofidur Rahman and ICAO’s regional director of Asia Pacific Tao Ma also spoke at the briefing
Carlos said that the ICAO would provide capacity building training to personnel of Bangladesh Civil Aviation Authority to make a pool of skilled human resource to realize its vision to become an aviation hub.

He said Bangladesh needs to make its air service agreements with other countries more liberalised to ensure free air transportation for becoming a successful hub.

However, the ICAO secretary general said, it is the Bangladesh civil aviation authority to decide as a sovereign body how far liberal they could be to realize its goal to be an aviation hub.

Carlos highly lauded the recent development of Bangladesh aviation sector under the able leadership of the country and said the CAAB is on the right track of its goal.

“As International Civil Aviation Organization, we are very pleased to be here in Bangladesh and to have the opportunity to witness firsthand the rapid development of Civil Aviation in Bangladesh,” he said.

Terming the newly build third terminal of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport as incredible infrastructure with state of the world class facilities., the ICAO’s chief official said, he had discussed how Bangladesh could make good use of the new facilities.

“This (3rd terminal) is a very important foundation to take the vision, the ambition of becoming a regional hub”, he said.

The ICAO secretary general expressed his full confidence that Bangladesh would be able to realize its aviation sector vision as the country is doing good in domestic sector while many international air operators have been showing interest here as well.

He said Bangladesh’s vision for progress, emphasising its people, gender equality, and nurturing the next generation of professionals, will elevate the country to a leading position, not only in the region but also on the global stage.

“This country not only has a present, this country has future,” he said while recalling his meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

On Monday, Carlos along with ICAO Council President Salvatore Sciacchitano paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina her at her official residence Gono Bhaban.

CAAB chairman said Bangladesh civil aviation authority signed a cooperation framework with ICAO to receive capacity building and policy support.

Rahman hoped that ICAO’s support would help CAAB to make a master plan for further development of the country’s aviation sector in the days to come.

Around 500 foreign delegates, representing 47 countries and 13 international organizations participated in the event hosted by Dhaka after 38 years.

The conference, a landmark initiative after ICAO’s tri-annual general meeting, was first held in Dhaka in 1985.

Aviation safety, air navigation, aviation security, facilitation, development of air transports, prevention of environmental disasters, capacity building of the aviation sector, practical aspects and related issues were discussed at the conference.

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