Airspace of Bangladesh under threat


Airspace of Bangladesh under threat. Even if any foreign airlines cross Bangladesh; Civil aviation authorities are often not aware of it. In addition to the security risk, Bangladesh is also deprived of revenue. Civil aviation is struggling to monitor the airspace with only a 43-year-old radar.

Bangladesh has an area of ​​more than 147,000 square kilometers apart from the sea border. Civil aviation has only one radar at Shahjalal Airport to monitor the vast area of ​​air traffic. Also expired.

The radar was installed in Dhaka in 1980. It is now not capable of providing security to the entire airspace of the country. At the same time, another radar installed in Chittagong is useless since 2017. The sea border cannot be monitored from above.

In this context, General Secretary of Group Aviation Operators Association of Bangladesh Captain (Ob.)Mofizur Rahman said, the radar has two parts. One is primary and the other is secondary surveillance. Primary surveillance is any aircraft that can be detected. But it has a range of 70 to 80 nautical miles. On the other hand, secondary surveillance is that if the aircraft equipment is tuned to the radar frequency, the aircraft can be seen from a great distance. It will have a range of 275 to 300 nautical miles.

Captain (Ret.) Mofizur Rahman also said, however, the radar was most likely serviced 3 to 4 years ago. In that case, the primary mode of the radar could not be serviced. Which essentially gives a range of up to 80 km.

Aviation Specialist Wing Commander (Retd.Hasan Masud said, Hon’ble Prime Minister said that our country will be one of the aviation hubs in South Asia. But to become one of the aviation hubs, these radars must be updated. Most pilots are apprehensive about Bangladesh’s radar system. Very poor condition of the radar system. Which the pilots did not trust.

According to the rules, if the aircraft of other countries use the airspace of Bangladesh, they have to pay a fee of about 500 dollars as a ‘flying over charge’. But due to the radar crisis, many times India and Myanmar are taking Bangladesh airspace fees. As a result, experts believe that the sovereignty of the airspace is at risk.

Captain (retd.) Mofizur Rahman expressed regret and said that after the installation of the radar in 2017, 2023 has passed. But not yet commissioned. Which is visible, but cannot provide service. If it cannot provide service, there is no way to call it capable. But if the capability was there, then no one could have evaded using the country’s airspace. As a result, that money was available.

Taking these issues seriously, Civil Aviation took the initiative to install 2 modern radars in Dhaka and Chittagong. Earlier, in 2021, the organization got approval for a project worth Tk 730 crore with its own funding.

Air Vice Marshal Mofidur Rahman, chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority, said that with the help of the new radar, we are already able to collect information. But only the work of automation remains. In that case, the Dhaka radar which was already installed, should be connected with the Chittagong radar. Along with that, some sensors are being connected, which will increase our surveillance and communication. Then we will be able to control vast airspace. That work is in progress. Hopefully, the work will be completed by next May.

However, even if the new radar is installed, the northern part of the country, the Sundarbans and the large area of ​​the Bay of Bengal will remain outside the surveillance of civil aviation

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