Syedpur airport
Syedpur airportProthom Alo file photo

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Tuesday approved four projects, including a Tk 5.67-billion project to develop the runways of three domestic airports – Jashore, Syedpur and Rajshahi—to ensure the safe landing and take-off of the aircrafts.

The approval came from the weekly ECNEC meeting held virtually with ECNEC chairperson and prime minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair, reports UNB.

The prime minister joined the meeting from Ganobhaban through a videoconference, while other ECNEC members were connected from NEC Bhaban.

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“The four projects of three ministries were approved in today’s meeting. The total estimated cost of the four projects is Tk 16.6829 billion,” said planning division secretary Md Ashadul Islam while briefing reporters after the meeting.

Of the cost, Tk 15.55 billion will be financed from GoB funds, while the rest Tk 1.1335 billion will come from the fund of the civil aviation authority of Bangladesh.

Talking about the project titled ‘Asphalt Concrete Overlay to the Runway Surface of Jashore Airport, Syedpur Airport and Shah Makhdum Airport, Rajshahi’, Ashadul Islam said the project will be implemented between January 2021 and June 2023 at a cost of Tk 5.6676 billion.

The major project operations include putting asphalt concrete overlay on the airport runways, upgradation of airfield ground lighting system, development of drainage system, including runway side-strips, procurement of a modern fire extinguishing vehicle for each airport.

During approval of the project, the prime minister directed the authorities concerned to install proper lighting system at the domestic airport so that flights can land and take off at night as well, said Ashadul Islam.

“Since the activities in the airports are on the rise, it’ll have to install the lighting system there so that aircraft can land and take off there at night,” the PM was quoted as saying.

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In this regard, the civil aviation and tourism secretary said they have a plan to install the lighting system in the airports on completion of the runway upgradation works.

The prime minister said the airports will have to be modernised properly in phases with their growing use following the rise in economic activities due to the establishment of economic zones.