Shah Amanat International Airport
|Shah Amanat International Airport
শাহ আমানত আন্তর্জাতিক বিমানবন্দর
Śhā Amānat Antarjātik Bimānabandar
|IATA: CGP – ICAO: VGEG
|Airport type||Public / Military|
|Operator||Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh|
|Elevation AMSL||12 ft / 4 m|
|05/23||9,646||2,940||Concrete / Asphalt|
|Source: Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh|
Shah Amanat International Airport (IATA: CGP, ICAO: VGEG) (Bengali:শাহ আমানত আন্তর্জাতিক বিমানবন্দর, Śhā Amānat Antarjātik Bimānbandar), is an international airport serving Bangladesh's southeastern port city of Chittagong. Operated and maintained by the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh, it is the second largest airport in Bangladesh. It is also used by the Bangladesh Air Force. It was formerly known as MA Hannan International Airport but was renamed on 2 April 2005 by the government of Bangladesh, after an Islamic saint Hazrat Shah Amanat.
The airport is capable of annually handling 6 million passengers and 5,700 metric tons of cargo. The airport handles about 21% of Bangladesh's air traffic, almost 66% of it is handled by Shahjalal International Airport, Dhaka, 4% by Osmani International Airport, Sylhet and the remaining 9% by Bangladesh's 6 domestic airports.
The airport is located in the Patenga area of the city, 20 kilometers (13 mi; 11 NM) west from the city's main commercial hub, GEC Circle and 18.5 km south of the city's railway station on the north bank of the Karnaphuli River. There are no hotels or restaurants near the airport, however numerous hotels and restaurants are available in the city.
World War II
The airfield was built in the early 1940s under the British rule. Known as Chittagong Airfield during World War II, the airport was used as a combat airfield, as well as a supply point and photographic reconnaissance base by the United States Army Air Forces Tenth Air Force during the Burma Campaign 1944-1945.
Known American units assigned to Chittagong were:
- 80th Fighter Group, flew P-38 Lightning fighters over Burma between March 1944 and February 1945.
- 8th Reconnaissance Group, between October and December 1944 (various detachments)
- 4th Combat Cargo Group, flew C-46 Commando transports between January and June 1945.
From the airport, the 4th CCG C-46's flew supplies and ammunition which were air-dropped to the advancing Allied forces on the ground. At the end of June, control of the airport was returned to local authorities.
It officially became a Bangladeshi airport in 1972 after Bangladesh's liberation war. At first, it was mainly used for connecting Dhaka and Chittagong, but in the mid-1990s Biman started international flights to Dubai and a few Saudi Arabian cities and the airport officially became an international airport.
1998-2000 renovation and expansion
In March 1998, a major renovation and expansion began at the airport, which ended in December 2000. A $51.57 million project, the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh received financial assistance from the JICA for the upgrade. The project was carried out by Japanese companies Shimizu-Marubeni.
The upgrade modernized the terminal building with new and better seats, more check-in counters, better security equipment and many other facilities. The Air Traffic Control tower also received new hi-tech equipment such as 3D radars. The runway, taxiways and the tarmac were expanded and improved.
The airport's sole 200,209 square feet (19,000 m2) passenger terminal building divided into two parts: International and Domestic with a boarding bridge in each. The International part of the terminal is larger than the Domestic one due to higher number of passengers. The building is also divided into two floors: The lower floor is used for checking in, boarding or getting off small planes and receiving luggage while the upper floor is used for boarding or getting off large planes only.
The airport's air traffic control tower is 50 meters west of the airport terminal. It has a clear view of the tarmac and taxiways but is far from the runway. Heavy rain or fog can make it difficult for controllers to see planes taking off or landing.
The tarmac, or aircraft parking zone, is directly behind the terminal and left of the runway. Up to six jumbo jets, such as Boeing 747-400s, can be parked there at once. The parking points are usually empty as most of the planes that arrive there takeoff soon after and the planes of local airlines are generally parked at Shahjalal International Airport overnight. A small civil plane hangar belonging to Biman is available but is rarely used.
The Bangladesh Military has a parking zone and two plane hangars right of the runway at the airport. The Bangladesh Air Force keep a few planes here which have direct access to runway.
Airlines and destinations
|Biman Bangladesh Airlines||Abu Dhabi, Dhaka, Doha,1 Dubai-International, Jeddah, Kuwait,1 Muscat|
|Malindo Air||Kuala Lumpur (begins 2 January 2014)|
|RAK Airways||Ras Al Khaimah|
|Regent Airways||Dhaka, Kolkata|
|United Airways||Dhaka, Kolkata, Muscat|
^1 Only inbound flights.
|Emirates SkyCargo||Dubai-International (ends 1 May 2014), Dubai-Al Maktoum (begins 1 May 2014)|
|Etihad Cargo||Dubai-Al Maktoum, Hong Kong|
The airport can be easily accessed by car or taxi thorough the city's Agrabad area. Shah Amanat airport has three parking zones, one civil and two VIP. The civil one is located just in front of the terminal, it has a capacity of 400 cars. This zone is usually loaded with public transport, mostly auto-rickshaws and micro-buses. The zone is made of concrete and asphalt, surrounded by a grass patch. Both VIP parking zones are located beside the terminal, one left and one right. The one on the left is for people who work at the airport or one of the airlines that use the airport, such as pilots or air traffic controllers. The other is used by the VVIPs.
Incidents and accidents
- 23 March 2005: Inclement weather forced two Biman flights heading for Dhaka to make emergency landings at the airport.
- 1 July 2005: Biman flight BG 048 en route from Dubai skidded off runway 23 onto the grass at Shah Amanat International Airport while landing during heavy rain. The right-hand undercarriage of the McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 caught fire. Ten passengers were injured while exiting the aircraft. Investigations found that the wheel-box of the aircraft went out of order. The aircraft was later written-off.
- 10 September 2008: A bomb hoax on Air Arabia flight 522 caused red alert at the airport. A flight attendant found a note on the plane saying "There is a bomb set", the captain alerted Air Traffic control for a possible emergency and received high-priority landing status at the airport. The plane was taken to the military zone of the airport where it was searched by bomb experts but no bomb was found. Later, all 81 passengers were asked to provide a handwriting sample and security officials arrested a Bangladeshi man who later confessed his crime.
- 1 March 2012: A fire broke out on the second floor of the terminal building of the airport at around 4 pm. No injuries or casualties were reported. Airport fire brigade managed to douse the flame by 6 pm. The fire had severely damaged the second floor of the terminal disabling the two jet bridges forcing airport authorities to bring out the reserve portable ones. Several flights including 4 international ones had to be delayed, grounding several aircraft at the airport and diverting a few other. As many as 2000 passengers had to wait for several hours at the parking lot for their flight.
- 2 November 2013: Air Arabia flight 522, operated by an Airbus A320-200, made an emergency landing due to a bird strike, after leaving for Sharjah. All aboard were unhurt.
- "Aerodrome Information: Shah Amanat International Airport, Chittagong". Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh.
- "Chittagong Airport Development Project". Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
- Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1983. ISBN 0-89201-092-4
- "Emirates SkyCargo commences dedicated freighter to Chittagong". Bangladesh Monitor. 1 February 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
- "Malindo Air to fly to Chittagong next year". Borneo Post. 23 November 2013. Retrieved 23 November.
- Etihad Cargo routes
- "Biman escapes possible crash-landing in Chittagong". 9 July 2007. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- Fire at Ctg airport
- 161 passengers escape unhurt at Shah Amanat airport
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Shah Amanat International Airport.|
- Airport information for VGEG at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.
- Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh: Airports
- Live Flight Status