Barisal airport resumes flights after 47 months

The Barisal airport became operative for commercial passenger flights on Thursday by resuming domestic flights of United Airways on the Dhaka-Barisal-Dhaka route.The Airport was turned into an abandoned cattle-grazing field in the absence of flight operation since May 5, 2009.
The inaugural ceremony of the resumption of United Airways flights on the Dhaka-Barisal-Dhaka route held at Concourse Hall of the Barisal airport at 12:00 noon Thursday after landing of its aircraft at 11:45 am with 15 passengers and 46 guests and crews on board.
Muhammad Faruk Khan MP, civil aviation and tourism minister, was chief guest of the ceremony attended by Shawkat Hossain Hiron, Barisal City Corporation Mayor and city AL president , Dhirendra Devnath Shamvu, Nurul Islam Moni, AL lawmakers, Air Vice Marshal Mahmud Hussain, chairman civil aviation authority, Captain Tasbirul Ahmed Choudhury, chairman and managing director, Group Captain (Rtd) Khurshid Alam Chowdhury, revenue director of United Airways, representatives of different print and electronic media, high officials.
The inaugural flight with slogan ‘Fly Your Own Airline’ departed Barisal Airport at 1:40 pm and landed at Dhaka HSIA at 2:10 pm with 15 passengers and 45 guests and crews.
United Airways started operating weekly two flights in this sector by using 66-seated ATR-72, a twin-engine turboprop short-haul regional airliner built by the French-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR, and a 37-seated Bombardier Dash-8-100, a twin-engine medium-ranged turboprop airliner introduced by de Havilland Canada planes
The flights would be operative from Dhaka end at 5:00pm and 10:40am and from Barisal end at 5:50pm and 11:30am Thursday and Sunday with one-way fare of Tk 3,000-5,000 for a 67 aeronautical miles of 30 minutes trip on this route, the United Airways sources said.
Barisal Airport sources said an air strip on fifty acres of land was built in late sixties for operating pesticide spraying planes of agriculture department at Rahamatpur in Babuganj some 17 kilometers off the city.
Civil Aviation Authority later acquired more 110 acres of land for constructing an air strip in 1968 in a view to operate STOL (Short Take – Off and Landing) service on Dhaka –Barisal route which was 1800 feet long and 60 feet wide runway in 1971 which was heavily damaged in during liberation war.
Civil Aviation Authourity of Bangladesh (CAAB) expanded the 1800 ft runway to 6000 ft and its wideness from 60 ft to 100 ft, constructed modern terminal building with VIP and general passenger lounges, control tower, power supply system, fire fighting equipment, runway lighting arrangement and other necessary infrastructures and facilities in 1993-94 fiscal.
Bangladesh Biman from December 3, 1995 to November 2000, April 14, 2003 to November 13, 2005 and January 1, 2006 to November 16, 2006, private airliners Aero Bengal Airlines operated from this Airport on Dhaka-Barisal-Dhaka route from July 16, 1995-1998, Air Parabat for a short period in 1999, GMG Airlines for more than four years till 28 October 2006, On United Airways from 28 September, 2008 to 5 May, 2009 also operated flights from this Airport.
The airport also used by the foreign cargo planes for lifting and sending huge relief materials sent by different countries to Sidr hit 11 southern districts after the devastating Sidr of 2007.
According to Barisal airport record, a total 1, 58, 987 passengers have been served and 20,000 flights, including passengers, training, cargo and relief, operated by the airport between 1995 to 2009 in different domestic flights.
(Our Correspondent)

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