Tejgaon Airport

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Tejgaon Airport
TejgaonAirport.jpg
Airside view of terminal building
IATA: noneICAO: VGTJ
Tejgaon is located in Bangladesh
Tejgaon
Tejgaon
Location of airport in Bangladesh
Summary
Airport type Public/Military
Owner Bangladesh Air Force
Operator Bangladesh Air Force
Serves Dhaka
Elevation AMSL 24 ft / 7 m
Coordinates 23°46′43″N 090°22′57″E / 23.77861°N 90.38250°E / 23.77861; 90.38250Coordinates: 23°46′43″N 090°22′57″E / 23.77861°N 90.38250°E / 23.77861; 90.38250
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
17/35 9,315 2,839 Asphalt

Tejgaon Airport (ICAO: VGTJ) in Dhaka, Bangladesh served as the country's sole international airport prior to the construction of Shahjalal International Airport.

Following the transfer of civilian flights to the newly built Shahjalal International Airport in 1981, Tejgaon was taken under the control of the Bangladesh Air Force.

Although the airfield's status was upgraded to that of a domestic airport in October 2011, no airlines serve it yet.

History[edit]

The British had built military airstrips at Tejgaon, Dhaka during the Second World War for operating warplanes towards the battlefields of Kohima and other Burmese war threats. After Independence in 1947, Tejgaon Airport became the first airport to operate civil aviation in the then East Pakistan and it was also a station of the Pakistan Air Force. A number of other British built military airstrips in Bangladesh territory were also converted into civil airports – some during Pakistan period and some after Liberation. A few others were converted to STOL (Short Take-off and Landing) ports some years ago. And some are still left alone. The airstrips not yet converted to any civil airport of any kind are at Feni, Rajendrapur, Pahar Kanchanpur, Chakaria and Rasulpur.

Soon after the Second World War broke out, the British authority felt the need of constructing the Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF) stations in Dhaka and other vulnerable places in Bangladesh territory. The construction of Tejgaon Airport at a place named Dainodda started in 1941; and the building of a landing strip at Kurmitola (Balurghat) started at about the same time. The airstrips at Tejgaon and Kurmitola had military fighter plane landing facilities and the British Royal Air Force used the airstrips for safe up‑keeping of their aircraft. There was also an American air force detachment here during the war. The first RIAF light fighter landed on the under‑construction runway of Tejgaon at the beginning of 1943 and after development of the airport facilities, it became the first civil airport of Bangladesh. Today it is a part of BAF (Bangladesh Air Force) Base Bashar.

In mid-2011, the Bangladesh Air Force raised objections to a proposed 19-metre high metro rail along Bijoy Sarani, arguing that the metro rail would hinder military air operations from the Tejgaon airstrip, it made a plea that the airfield be kept functional. The BAF also recommended an alternative route along Khamarbari-Farmgate which would affect the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban complex. The prime minister opted for the realignment of the route along the parliament complex in line with the BAF suggestion, a move which drew huge flak from different technical experts. The experts, among whom are architects, planners and civic activists, termed the BAF stance unfounded on many occasions and strongly argued that the metro rail would not affect the present operations of the airfield. The airstrip hasn't been used since 1988 and it is seriously affecting Dhaka city's development.[1]

Between 16 and 17 October 2011, the CAAB quietly upgraded it from a short take-off and landing (STOL) port to a domestic airport. This increased the importance of the airport. The CAAB had declared this on their website, however, its website details on navigational aides, air traffic service and aeronautical communications for air operations in Bangladesh territory didn't mention Tejgaon airfield as an airport. A domestic airport requires all the technical features and passenger services as an international airport as per rules of the International Civil Aviation Organisation but the Tejgaon Airport does not have the services required for a STOL port.[2]

References[edit]

Civil Aviation Authority, Bangladesh <http://www.caab.gov.bd/secfiles/earlyhis.html>

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

External links[edit]