Shahjalal International Airport 3rd terminal : Facilities, capabilities and positive effects

Shahjalal International Airport 3rd terminal : Facilities and capabilities : Bangladesh’s national and main airport‘s (Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport – HSIA) third terminal inaugurated on 7th October 2023, will transform it into a smart airport and aviation hub by expanding air connectivity with the rest of the world.

This will create new employment opportunities in the aviation sector, open up new business avenues, shorten air travel times, and ensure standard passenger services and security.

From an aeronautical viewpoint, a well-equipped airport can boost and unlock sustainable economic opportunities, trade, and tourism while enhancing the country’s global image.

The government considered building a new airport to address the growing number of passengers, but it was deemed impossible to implement due to a lack of sufficient space and the substantial allocation of time and resources a new airport would require. Later, instead of building a new airport, it was decided to expand the existing airport and construct an iconic new terminal.

Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur, chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB), said: “The third terminal has been constructed to improve the quality of passenger services and become an aviation hub to fulfill Bangabandhu’s dreams.”

Third terminal 1A view of the much-awaited third terminal of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. Photo: Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune
In an interview with Dhaka Tribune, the CAAB chief mentioned that the third terminal is the prime minister’s dream terminal and one of the most beautiful and modern airport terminals across the globe. Once fully operational around December, it will significantly reduce passenger inconveniences.

The construction work will be completed within the government’s allocated budget without additional expenses. All the work has been carried out according to the prime minister’s instructions and with the cooperation of all the ministries, said Mafidur Rahman.

More than 90% of the work will be completed by today, the day of the soft opening. The authorities have taken charge of terminal lifts, baggage handling, and boarding bridges. However, passengers will get the full benefit of the third terminal in 2025. The chairman of the aviation apex body said that the project is not related to national elections but will significantly enhance the country’s image. The government’s motivation was not driven by the pursuit of votes.

He emphasized that everything has been done to improve passenger service and quality. The decision has been made to outsource passenger service and safety to international standards.


Shahjalal International Airport 3rd terminal effects

The third terminal, a new beacon for the flourishing of the country’s aviation industry, will significantly enhance passenger and cargo handling capacity, contributing to the growth of the country’s trade.

It will increase the airport’s annual passenger handling capacity from the current eight million to over 16 million and cargo capacity from 200,000 tons to over 500,000 tons. Additionally, it will boost revenue per passenger.

The three-storey terminal building covers an area of 542,000 square metres with a floor space of 230,000 square metres, featuring 115 check-in counters, 64 departure, and 64 arrival immigration desks. This world-class terminal, equipped with modern amenities, will provide all services under a single roof, ensuring seamless operations and passenger comfort.

The import cargo complex will span 27,000 square metres and have the capacity to handle 273,470 tons per year. The export cargo complex, covering 36,000 square metres, will have an annual capacity of 546,941 tons. Modern equipment at the third terminal will expedite goods clearance in import-export.

With separate cargo villages for exports and imports, the terminal can store imported and exported goods if necessary, and air-conditioned warehouses prevent spoilage of perishable goods even if stored for extended periods.

The opening of the new terminal will streamline the export process and expedite cargo handling through automation. The parking space can accommodate 1,230 vehicles simultaneously. The terminal will feature 27 baggage x-ray screener machines, 11 body scanners, 25 central departure security screening points, 16 boarding bridges, and 16 luggage belts. Baggage will be automatically scanned in four layers, and luggage will be promptly delivered to passengers.

An underground connection will be established from the terminal to the Haj Camp and Railway Station, constructed under the Bangladesh Army’s supervision. A foreign company will ensure international passenger service, while the major management of the airport will follow the PPP model. Regarding security, CAAB’s chairman stated: “We will utilize Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools in the future to detect passenger psychological movements.”


Airlines seek best service and security

Leaders of domestic and foreign airlines and stakeholders have expressed gratitude to the government for the third terminal. They praised its advanced architecture and modern facilities, noting that the new terminal will boost trade and enhance the country’s international image.

The benefits of the airport, they said, include an increase in trade volume and vehicle movement, reduced transport costs and time due to improved connectivity, and making businesses more cost-effective.

Officials from foreign airlines, including Emirates, Singapore, Saudia, Turkish, and Maldivian airlines, have highlighted the importance of ensuring all services and safety to attract foreign super airlines to the aviation market.

According to CAAB, several airlines, including Fly Baghdad, Ethiopian Airlines, Wizz Air, Tehran Air (Iran), Air Canada, Air France, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), and Royal Jordanian Airlines, have expressed interest in operating flights to and from Dhaka.

The new terminal will accommodate around 37 aircraft. Prominent aviation expert Kamrul Islam mentioned that the number of flights will increase after the new terminal becomes operational. However, he cautioned that closing or blocking the single runway may cause flight disruptions, and maintaining runway availability is crucial.

Even if a decision is made to build an additional runway, feasibility studies have identified complications related to operating two runways simultaneously. The labor market in Bangladesh, estimated to include 13 million Bangladeshis living abroad, is the fourth highest among the top 20 countries of origin for international migrants. This is a significant indicator of the potential for growth in the aviation sector.

Hazrat shahjalal international airport terminal 3 designer name?

Hazrat shahjalal international airport terminal 3’s interior has been designed by renowned architect Rohani Baharin.

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