• Monday, December 22, 2014

Freedom in the air

Saidpur airport fails to change with time

Still remains outdated, awkward

EAM Asaduzzaman, Nilphamari
Believe it or not, Saidpur Airport in Nilphamari district is yet to see digitalisation, making services there awfully tardy. PHOTO: STAR
Believe it or not, Saidpur Airport in Nilphamari district is yet to see digitalisation, making services there awfully tardy. PHOTO: STAR

Saidpur airport in the district still functions mostly with outdated analogue system, making the establishment under the government's civil aviation department most backward air travel operating centre of the country.

In absence of online system, postal service or courier service is used for despatch of official letters while mobile phone is used to convey important messages, which poses the risk of hampering privacy.

Important office works in engineering section, mechanical section, accounts section, and even in weather section are being done with traditional system, mostly using typewriters.

This airport got a few computers several months ago but most of them are lying unused due to lack of skilled manpower, office sources said.

Recently the airport authority took initiative for imparting computer training to several staff in order to get all the official works done with computer and introduce online system at the airport, sources said.

"It is true that most official works at this airport are still being done in traditional system. After my joining here a few months ago I am trying my best to adopt modern digital system in all official works," said Shahin Ahmed, manager of Saidpur airport.

In 2008, Bangladesh Biman stopped operation of commercial aircraft on Dhaka-Rajshahi-Saidpur route showing the cause of continuous losses although a good number of passengers used to make air journey on the route, said locals and sources at Saidpur airport.

Especially high government officials, businessmen and foreign experts often travelled by air to Saidpur to get to nearby Uttara EPZ in Nilphamari, and Madhyapara hard rock mine and Boropukuria coal mine in Dinajpur.

The air travel also helped executives and delegates of many international organisations and donors conducting various programmes in the region.

But suspension of air operation by Bangladesh Biman left the airport with only a little work.

Presently non-government airline United Airways regularly operates commercial aircraft to and from Saidpur airport and they use online system for ticket selling and other services with their own equipment and manpower.

Published: 12:01 am Sunday, August 17, 2014

Last modified: 2:24 am Sunday, August 17, 2014

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