Air Transport the aviation industry of Bangladesh started its operations just after independence in 1972 at Tejgaon Airport in Dhaka with only one aircraft. Later, the Zia International Airport at Kurmitola, Dhaka was constructed to cope with the increasing international and domestic travel demand and was opened for traffic in early 1980. The name of the airport was changed to Hazrat Shah Jalal International airport in 2009. Aviation infrastructure is developed and maintained by the civil aviation authority of bangladesh (CAAB).
There are eight conventional (full-size) airports, eight airports for STOL (short take-off and landing) aircraft and some heliports in thana headquarters. Airports at Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet operate international flights. Other airports are used for domestic flights only. These are Jessore, Saidpur, Rajshahi, cox's bazar and Barisal airports. A number of development projects were implemented from 1992 to 2010, which include runways, extension of international passenger terminal building, installation of boarding bridges, installation of ILS, AMSS at Zia International Airport and construction of a new airport at Barisal and STOL airports at Bogra and Mongla. Besides, Amanat Shah Airport at Chittagong and the Osmany Airport at Sylhet were developed into International airports during the period.
Hazrat Shah Jalal International Airport, having 1981 acre of land, near Dhaka is the largest airport of the country. It serves more than half a million passengers every year. Nearly 52% of the country's international and domestic arrivals and departures take place through this central airport. The country's second largest international airport at Chittagong handles about 17% of the passengers.
Until recently, the national flag carrier biman bangladesh airlines Limited (BBAL) is still now the only airline in Bangladesh. BBA covers 30 internationals and 7 domestic destinations and possesses a fleet of a dozen aircrafts including DC-10, one Boeing 777, two Boeing 737, two airbus A310, F-28 and ATP planes though it has signed with 43 countries.
Since 1993, the government of Bangladesh has been allowing private companies to offer air transportation services. GMG Airlines, Best Air, United Airways and Regent Airways are now in operation in the private sector. [Jobair Bin Alam]