Bangladesh Civil Aviation: History
Syed Mohd. Saleh Uddin
Introduction: Before the liberation of Bangladesh this land was East Pakistan. From here Pakistan International Airlines carried passenger to West Pakistan and elsewhere. There were local services also. Once during Sino-Indian war PIA utilized its big Sikorsky helicopters for local services in East Pakistan. For helicopter accident and many other limitations that service was abandoned. Before liberation PIA was only airliners of Pakistan that operated domestic and also international flights.
Growth of civil aviation after 1971: On independence Bangladesh Biman got no aircraft from PIA except a Boeing 707. By that time throughout the world greater number of passengers and larger quantities of freight could be transported in the wide bodied aircraft with many more facilities and at comparatively lower costs. Hence, World Airliners admired the advent of jumbo jet that is Boeing 747, DC-10, Tri-Star and Airbus. Newly independent Bangladesh also needed an Airliner and latest aircrafts. Just after the independence in January 4, 1972 Bangladesh Government has established Air Bangladesh International by acting President Order no 2. Previously for domestic flight, it used Fokker F-27 (Friendship). Then it used ATP. These were twin engine propeller aircrafts. Now it is using F-28. For international flight it is using wide body turbo jet or other types of aircrafts of their own and also chartered. For Passenger service such aircrafts having comfortable seating, proper air-conditioning in all altitudes and other facilities approved by FAA/CAA and also by ICAO. In the year 2000 it had five DC-10, three F-28, three Airbus, two ATP (unserviceable) of its own. In the same year it obtained one DC-10 and one Airbus on lease. It is known from the Biman source that Biman made a pact with Aircraft manufacturer Boeing Company to supply 10 aircrafts by the cost 120 crores of dollars to supply from 2011 to 2019. Under this pact one Boeing 777-330 ER was supplied. It can carry 365 to 550 passengers. Its nonstop range is about 14000 KM. It was named Palki. Later in the same year one aircraft and by 2013 two other of the same aircraft were handed over under the coverage of the deal. In the year 2011 Biman had 12 aircrafts of 4 classes. Among those 4 was DC-10. Five Airbus (two own and three on leases.) Before private airliners established here it was only 100% Government owned airliner (corporation) in Bangladesh. Beside it, there was other small Government aviation. It was BAN Air which used to operate small aircraft only. Interested parties could hire aircrafts from it. At present this organization is not in operation. Air wing of Plant Protection Department of the Bangladesh Government had 12 DHC-2 (Beaver) initially. Even before the liberation this wing was delivering very effective service in the remote areas in this land. Then it had very skill pilots who were trained for this purposes. Its engineers were trained in the school of Aeronautics and in the School of Electronics situated in the PAF Korangi Creek, Karachi with airmen of PAF. Then they obtained licence from the appropriate authority of then Pakistan. After the liberation this wing was doing well. It became an approved organisation of Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh and got landing right of all Airports in Bangladesh. It is worth mentioning here that all the airports (civil) of Bangladesh are administered by the CAAB. From the year 1996 CAAB started issuing operating licenses to private airliners. So to avail airport facilities Bangladesh Biman and all private airliners have to obtain proper authority to fly from CAAB.
Plant Protection wing other airliners and CAAB: Besides, Plant protection Department of Bangladesh Government having few aircraft for pesticide spraying. Air wing of this department is established during Pakistan period in 1956 in the old airport of Tejgaon, Dhaka. At that time it had DHC –2 (Beaver), & piper. After the independence it is working as the Aviation Wing of Agricultural Department of Bangladesh Government. In 1973 by the aid of Newzealand Government it established A Flying training Project (Scheme) for its Pilots training. For this purpose Norman Clark Government of Newzealand presented three Air Tourer training aircrafts to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Government of the Bangladesh. In 1982 Plant Protection Department got five Fletcher-24-950, Crescoo-8-600 built in Newzealand and two DHC-2(Beaver) were in operation .These were being operated from above airports (Now no aircraft of this organisation is in operation.). Other Civil private airliners which obtained operating license from CAAB to use above airports are shown in the CAAB charts. Their operating offices are also established in the either airport. They may use other airports also as permitted by CAAB. Till 2014 CAAB approved many airliners. List of airliners what were approved by the CAAB time to time is as follows:
The following is a list of private airlines of Bangladesh.
Type of service
Type of Aircraft
|1996||Aero Bengal Airlines||Passenger service, Aeroplane service||Harbin Y-12, Antonov An-24 RV||Defunct|
|1997||Mission Aviation Fellowship Sweden||Aeroplane service||de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter|
|1997||Air Parabat||Flight training, Passenger service||Cessna 152, LET-410||Defunct|
|1998||GMG Airlines||Passenger service, Aeroplane Service||MD-82, Dash 8-100|
|1999||Bismillah Airlines||Cargo service||Antonov An-12|
|1999||Youngone||– Private aircraft||Cessna Grand Caravan, Piaggio P.180 Avanti II, Pilatus PC-12||cessna 152 , cirrus SR20 ,|
|1999||Best Aviation||Passenger Service, Helicopter service, Cargo service||BK 117, Antonov An-26, Boeing 707, Boeing 737|
|2000||Air Maximus||Cargo service||Boeing 747|
|2000||Aero Technologies||Helicopter service||Eurocopter AS-350 B|
|2005||Zoom Airways||Passenger service, Aeroplane service||BAe 748 Series 2B|
|2005||Air Bangladesh||Passenger service, Aeroplane service||Boeing 747||Defunct|
|2007||United Airways||Passenger service, Aeroplane service||Bombardier Dash 8, McDonnell Douglas MD-83, ATR 72, Airbus 310|
|2007||Royal Bengal Airline||Passenger service, Aeroplane service||Bombardier Dash 8||Defunct|
|2010||Regent Airways||Passenger service, Aeroplane service||Bombardier Dash 8, Boeing 747|
Many airliners of the list are not in operation now. Its main cause is Airliners are very complex organizations. It requires big capital, required number of aircrafts, required number of skill man power (licensed & unlicensed) and facilities (establishments, hangar, maintenance facilities etc). Most of the new airliners fail to meet above. So, once they stop operation. By that time loss is so great that the company loose all the hope to survive. As for example BIMAN is the Government organization. But every year it is counting big loss. It is surviving by Government subsidy what is not possible for new airliners.
(Ref: Banglapedia, navigationtalk.wordpress.com andaviationbangladesh.wordpress.com, wikipedia etc.)