For different reasons, security priorities have played a major role in recent projects
Bangladesh has invested in new systems to bolster security at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) in the capital Dhaka, but it faces a challenge to sustain technological and procedural improvements.
Equipment upgrades were prompted by security concerns that led to a series of bans on cargo flights from HSIA, with the European Union (EU) becoming the latest to enforce such restrictions in June.
Explosives-detection systems (EDS), trace-detection equipment, detector dog squads, dual-view X-ray scanning machines, and under-vehicle scanners are among the major equipment procured by the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) in recent years.
“We’ve taken many steps to improve aviation security. Besides equipment, we’re putting emphasis on training,” Abul Hasnat Mohammad Ziaul Haque, a senior official at the Bangladesh Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, told Jane’s .
In a statement issued to the media on 13 September, civil aviation and tourism minister Rashed Khan Menon confirmed that HSIA now meets international aviation security standards. “This will ensure transportation of passengers and cargoes everywhere including the UK and the EU,” he said, hoping that Australia, Germany, and the United Kingdom will lift their bans “immediately” on the direct cargo flights from HSIA. He issued the statement after observing the trials of EDS equipment at the airport.
In a document presented in August at the 54th ICAO Conference of Directors General of Civil Aviation, Asia and Pacific Regions in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, the CAAB stated that a new access control system is being installed at HSIA and sniffer dogs are deployed “with the help of the Bangladesh Army and Rapid Action Battalion [RAB – the anti-crime and anti-terrorism unit of the Bangladesh Police]”.
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