Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is travelling to Cox’s Bazar on Saturday, opening the airport tarmac for the large aircraft landing service in the tourism hotspot.
According to the press wing at the Prime Minister’s Office, a 162-seat Boeing 737-800 of Biman Bangladesh Airlines will carry Hasina to Cox’s Bazar at 9:45am.
She will then inaugurate the Biman service on the extended runway for Cox’s Bazar Airport.
She will also inaugurate a marine drive from Cox’s Bazar to Teknaf, Cox’s Bazar Medical College, and lay foundation stone of two liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, and several other projects.
The British era airport in Cox’s Bazar is being used domestically. Only Dash-Q400 aircraft with 74 seats and smaller planes could use the airport until now.
The government has been developing the airport to an international standard as part of modernisation of Cox’s Bazar as a tourism city and Moheshkhali as an investment hub.
The airport’s Manager Sadhan Kumar Mohanta said the development work of the airport was scheduled to end within June next year.
“Large aircraft like Boeing 747 or 777 will be able to land here,” he said.
Biman spokesperson Shakil Meraj told bdnews24.com that the prime minister’s travel to Cox’s Bazar by the Boeing 737-800 is a ‘milestone’ in Bangladesh’s history of aviation.
He said the national flag carrier would operate one flight with an aircraft of this model every week. It would increase the number of flights in the future.
After the programme at the airport, the prime minister will visit Inani, where she will inaugurate the 80 kilometres long marine drive linking Cox’s Bazar and Teknaf.
The marine drive, which uniquely juxtapose with the world’s longest beach at one side and hills on the other, is expected to attract more tourists.
Bangladesh Army has built the drive in three phases with more than Tk 10 billion.
After inaugurating the drive, the prime minister will take part in a rally organised by the ruling Awami League at Sheikh Kamal International Cricket Stadium in the afternoon.
She will also inaugurate and lay foundation stones of a number of projects in the district.
The projects she is inaugurating include Cox’s Bazar Medical College, a hostel of Cox’s Bazar Government Women’s College and Cox’s Bazar Government College each, a complex of Cox’s Bazar Government College, a complex of Bangamata Fazilatunnesa Mujib Women’s College and Moheshkhali-Anwara gas line.
She will lay foundation stones of Cox’s Bazar Airport Development Project (first phase), Cox’s Bazar Medical College Hospital, Cox’s Bazar IT Park, two floating LNG terminals in Moheshkhali, Naaf Tourism Park, and several other projects.