State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism M Mahbub Ali today said the government introduced several policies and made regulatory reforms for civil aviation growth targeting to double the number of air passengers by 2030.
"We are looking into a future where the carriage of air passengers would be doubled by 2030 while the Asia Pacific region is expected to become the largest air transport market," he said.
The state minister was addressing as the chief guest at the inaugural session of 30th Steering Committee Meeting of the Cooperative Development of Operational Safety and Continuing Airworthiness Programme, South Asia (COSCAP-SA) at a hotel in the city.
High level regional representatives of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and civil aviation authorities of eight south Asian nations - India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, the Maldives, Bhutan, Afghanistan and hosts Bangladesh are being participated at the there-day meeting.
The state minister said Bangladesh is now in a position where investments in the aviation sector has proved to be cost effective due to many comprehensive and sustainable development works taken by the present government.
"Work is underway to ensure timely expansion of aviation infrastructure across the country, increase passenger service, improve technical and public skills and ensure safe and smooth air navigation," Mahbub said.
The state minister said the goal of these activities is to transform Bangladesh into a prime aviation hub and attractive tourist destination.
He said that a large network of air routes provided by Bangladesh, connecting the major destinations in the South Asia, the South-East Asia, the Middle East and the Western world, has helped the development of international air transport to and from Bangladesh.
"Time has come to tap the market growth and harness the resources," he said adding that the scope of air connectivity of the country is increasing through development and prosperity.
The stat minister said the aviation sector has contributed about 0.08
per cent of Baldness's GDP in the 2021-2022 fiscal year.
"If the trend continues, air transport in Bangladesh is forecasted to be able to draw an additional 12.1 million passengers totaling more than 22 million passengers by 2038," he added.
Mahbub said Bangladesh's stable economy, growing GDP and forward-looking legislations have made viable grounds for encouraging investments in aviation sector though it had somehow been stalled during the worst time of Covid-19 pandemic.
"But, by the far-sighted actions of the government and with the ICAO guidance we have brought trust and compatibility among the various stake holders in the aviation community," Mahbub observed.
While the country is still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, policymakers need to address the critical issues of capacity, talent, technology, and sustainability for strengthening the foundations of the aviation system.
"We believe that global cooperation is the key to achieve progress and growth and COSCAP-SA with its cooperative approach has always been found in the forefront," he said.
The state minister hoped that the meeting would provide necessary impetus for the recovery from the pandemic by regaining air connectivity and way forward to explore opportunities within south Asian region.
Civil Aviation and Tourism Secretary Md Mokammel Hosain spoke as the special guest while Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) chairman Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman and ICAO regional director Tao Ma gave welcome statement and remarks respectively.