Foreign ground handler sought for Dhaka gateway

Biman Bangladesh Airl i n e s has announced plans to modernise ground handling services at Dhaka’s Hahjalal International Airport by inviting foreign ground handling companies to submit proposals for jointly modernising handling at the country’s main gateway airport.


Foreign ground handler sought for Dhaka gateway


Biman Bangladesh Airl i n e s has announced plans to modernise ground handling services at Dhaka’s Hahjalal International Airport by inviting foreign ground handling companies to submit proposals for jointly modernising handling at the country’s main gateway airport. “Biman is preparing a request for proposal [RFP] to invite international companies to team up with it for modernisation of the ground handling services,” said a top official at the civil aviation ministry, according to local press.

Ground handling at the airport is conducted by Bangladesh Biman with the process being fully manual. Under the modernisation initiative, baggage and cargo handling would be fully automated, with new equipment purchased and a trained workforce put in place. Former Biman managing director Kevin John Steele had earlier projected that the modernisation move would require around US$10-15 million.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB), the country has been witnessing an annual 8-9 per cent growth in air passengers and 13 per cent growth in cargo. An earlier effort by Steele found four companies interested in participating in the modernisation, including: Swissport International, Çelebi Ground Handling Inc, dnata and Group Europe Handling. Progress was stalled however, as Biman management awaited approval from the Prime Minister due to union opposition to the move fearing staff cuts. That go-ahead was finally given in May and the RFP is expected shortly.