According to a Prothom Alo report, all airlines have rescheduled their flights due to the eight-hour flight suspension. As a result, more passengers are arriving together. This is creating pressure on the immigration department, check-in counters, luggage scanners and security checks. Passengers struggle to get a trolley for their luggage. They also receive Covid-19 test results late. A certain Dubai-bound passenger described the state of mismanagement saying, “There was no written instruction. I had to waste lot of time searching for the Covid test centre since noon.”
Passenger sufferings also increase due to lack of adequate luggage trolleys. Many passengers had to carry their luggage on their heads or by hand as they found no empty trolley after searching for an hour inside and outside the airport terminal. Airport authorities said trolleys were sent for repairs a week ago. The decision on eight-hour fight suspension was taken a month ago. So the question is why did the authorities chose such a time for repairing trolleys when they are to face more pressure from passengers in a short duration? This is an example of mismanagement and no planning.
Lack of human resources also intensifies the mismanagement. Citing airport sources, a Prothom Alo report said Biman Bangladesh Airlines is responsible for ground handling at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. Various services including check-in counter services, loading and unloading of passenger luggage and other passenger services provided by different airlines fall under ground handling. But Biman Bangladesh Airlines does not even have adequate human resources to carry out these operations and now, pressure increases further due to arrival of night flights in the day and the evening. And human resources for ground handling has not increases either. Rather, the Biman authorities have stopped paying overtime.
Global economy has been reviving from the impact of Covid-19. Labour market in the Middle East is opening gradually. Travel of local and foreign passengers increase through airports due to relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions. Besides, construction of the third terminal is very important to increase the performance and capacity of the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. But mismanagement and sufferings at the airport is unwarranted. It will give a negative message to expatriates and foreigners. The mismanagement at the airport has been created because of lack of plan and of human resources as well as lack of coordination among agencies. Steps must be taken immediately, taking national interests into consideration.