UK lifts ban on air cargo flights from Dhaka

18 Feb,2018


Dhaka, BdChronicle:


The United Kingdom has withdrawn its ban on direct cargo flights from Dhaka to London following a significant progress made in meeting a number of important security conditions.


Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister AKM Shahjahan Kamal and British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Alison Blake on Sunday came up with the announcement at a joint press conference at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.


“I’m delighted to confirm that the temporary suspension on direct air cargo between Bangladesh and the UK has been lifted, following significant progress made in meeting a number of important security conditions,” High Commissioner Blake said.


The lifting of the suspension comes as a result of ongoing cooperation between the UK and Bangladesh, and the joint assessment of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.

“I’m grateful for the close cooperation between our two governments which has allowed us to achieve this important outcome,” said the British High Commissioner.


Blake said she is very grateful to Minister Kamal, his predecessor Rashed Khan Menon and the Secretary and other officials of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, including the Chairman of Civil Aviation Authority Bangladesh Air Vice Marshal M Naim Hassan and the officials of CAAB, for positive engagement with the Department for Transport and the British High Commission.


Blake said the improvements made are testament to the commitment and hard work of staff with the third party contractor, appointed by the Bangladesh Government.  

“Bangladesh and Britain are close friends and partners, and the Department for Transport values our relationship with our counterparts in Bangladesh. We look forward to our continued work on ensuring aviation is safe for all who travel,” she said.


As per the recommendations of the UK government, Minister Kamal said, the Bangladesh government took some immediate measures such as recruiting UK-based aviation security agency for two years, developing Export Cargo Complex with three layers of security system, introducing European standard training for cargo handling, establishing two explosive detection systems (EDS), introducing Explosive Detection Dog (EDD) Cargo Scanning system and so on.


He also expressed the hope that following the withdrawal, Australia will also lift its ban and Europe will withdraw Bangladeshi consignments from High Risk Cargo Category for which Bangladeshi products can reach European countries without any hassle. 


On March 8, 2016, the British government slapped the ban on direct cargo flights from Dhaka to London after Biman failed to pass the safety and security tests.


Biman's cargo business shrank 22.54 percent last fiscal year on the back of the ban on direct freight flight from Dhaka to London, according to available data.


In November last, an eight-member joint Aviation Security Assessment Team was formed for assessing the management and security of Export Cargo.


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