June 24, 2024, 3:58 am

Diplomatic correspondent

2024-05-08 00:00:48 BdST

UK wants to collab on aviation industry dev

Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Muhammad Faruk Khan said the United Kingdom (UK) wants to work together for the development of Bangladesh’s aviation industry.

He made the remark while speaking to journalists after a meeting with Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Minister of State in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the United Kingdom, held at his Secretariat office on Tuesday.

When asked about the nature of this cooperation in the country’s civil aviation sector, Faruk said, “When they saw our new airport, they realised that there will be a lot of opportunity to work together.

“Europe makes Airbus planes, and we have Boeing in our aircraft fleet. They offered to sell Airbus to us. As far as I know, we received a pretty good offer. In the meantime, Boeing has also given us a good offer.”

He added, “We are currently checking out their offer. An evaluation committee has been formed by the Bangladesh Biman in this regard. We will make a decision on what would be the best for Bangladesh.”

Faruk said, “The Airbus has already made economic proposals. We will take a decision after examining them thoroughly. They wanted to sign a memorandum of understanding. But we recommended completing an assessment first, and then the MoU can be signed.

“Besides, matters relating to security and ground handling were also discussed. They have a potential for making investments in these sectors. They know that apart from Dhaka, development work is going on at our two airports in Sylhet and Cox's Bazar. They also learned that we are trying to build an air hub in Saidpur.”

Due to these reasons, they have expressed a lot of interest in the civil aviation sector, he added.

When asked about details of the proposal, such as how many aircraft Bangladesh wants to buy and how much money will be required, the minister said, “The loan interest will come from the bank, and we received good proposals regarding the technical issues.

“Bangladesh wants to buy ten Airbuses. However, how much money it may cost us will depend on the proposal.”

Minister of State in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Anne-Marie Trevelyan said, “It is a great pleasure for us to continue discussing the UK-Bangladesh relationship and partnership.

“We have a security partnership with the Ministry of Civil Aviation. We discussed how to take the relationship between the two countries further in the aviation sector.”

Expressing happiness at the overall development of Bangladesh, she added, “The size of Bangladesh’s economy is growing, and will rise to a middle-income country by 2026. In that case, the aviation industry will play an important role in the Bangladesh economy.

“Bangladesh is developing its airports. A new terminal has been constructed. This is why we want to share our expertise in various fields, including in the aviation industry security, with Bangladesh.”

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