Shah Amanat International Airport

Bangladesh - শাহ আমানত আন্তর্জাতিক বিমানবন্দর

Shah Amanat International Airport শাহ আমানত আন্তর্জাতিক বিমানবন্দর مطار شاه أمانات الدولي 沙阿曼纳特国际机场 Bangladesh

Shah Amanat International Airport, located in Chittagong (now known officially as Chattogram), is the second largest international airport in Bangladesh. It is approximately 20 km from the city center and is operated by the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh. The airport was established as an international hub in 1990 and underwent significant upgrades and expansion in 2000, funded by the Japanese government. Previously known as M A Hannan International Airport, it was renamed in 2005 after the Islamic saint, Shah Amanat, and is capable of handling approximately 2 million passengers and 10,000 MTs of cargo each year.

Operations and Infrastructure

The airport is in the Patenga area, lying 20 kilometres west of the city’s commercial hub, GEC Circle, and 18.5 km south of the city’s railway station. The airport’s cargo handling capacity is managed by Biman Bangladesh Airlines, maintaining medium-scale operations due to the current cargo volume. Occasionally, private operators licensed by CAAB may also handle cargo operations. The airport also has ground support equipment in place to ensure smooth operations.

The airport is not only a hub for passenger and cargo movement but also serves as a base for the Bangladesh Air Force and the Arirang Flying School. The airport’s location on the north bank of the Karnaphuli River adds strategic value.

History and Modern Development at Shah Amanat International Airport

Established in the early 1940s under British rule, the airport was initially used as a combat airfield and supply point during World War II. After Bangladesh’s liberation, the airport primarily facilitated connections between Dhaka and Chittagong. It wasn’t until the mid-1990s when Bangladesh Biman expanded its operations to major international destinations that the airport officially became an international hub.

A significant upgrade took place from March 1998 to December 2000, with financial support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency. The $51.57 million upgrade included modernizing the terminal, expanding the runway, taxiways, and tarmac, and introducing new high-tech equipment like 3D radar in the Air Traffic Control tower. These improvements ensured that larger aircraft, such as the Boeing 747-400 and the Airbus A 340, could land easily. The airport received ICAO certification in 2005.

Cargo Facilities at Shah Amanat International Airport

Even though Shah Amanat International Airport doesn’t have a designated Cargo Village like Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, it possesses functional facilities. These include two warehouses connected to the aircraft apron by a tarmac road, a concrete floor space capable of accommodating 100 MT of freight divided into 9 caged areas, and a new cargo shed capable of accommodating 150 MT of freight. The airport also has facilities for cold storage, with two large rooms maintaining temperatures between -40 to 100 C for preserving medicine and special items.

The airport is serviced by six carriers, US-Bangla Airlines, Biman Bangladesh Airlines, Air Arabia, SalamAir, FlyDubai, and Oman Air, further enhancing its connectivity with major international destinations.

 

 

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