A project to improve the runway at the Shah Amanat International Airport in Chattogram has started recently. Currently the pavement classification number (PCN) of the runway is 66, which will be enhanced to 90, said related sources.
The project to improve the runway at Shah Amanat International Airport will cost Tk472.75 crore. It is scheduled to be completed by December 2020.
Related sources said work orders in this regard have been issued after completing the tender process for this project. A local company named Mir Akter and a Chinese company CAMCE will jointly realise the project.
The companies have already started work to acquire stone, bitumen and other necessary equipment. The construction work will start from March this year after gathering the ingredients.
The flight operation at the airport remains closed from 11pm to 6am every day. The renovation work will be carried out at that time, so the scheduled work at the airport will not be hampered.
Wing Commander ABM Sarwar-E-Zaman, manager of the airport, said, "The flight operation at the airport has increased by 2.8 percent in the last five years, while the number of local and international passengers using the airport has increased by 7.8 percent. Eighteen lakh passengers were carried through the airport in 2019, while it carried 16.93 lakh passengers in 2018."
Pavement Classification Number (PCN) is a number that expresses the load-carrying capacity of a pavement for unrestricted operations. It is an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standard used in combination with the Aircraft Classification Number (ACN) to indicate the strength of a runway, taxiway or apron. This helps to ensure that they are not subjected to excessive wear and tear, thus prolonging their usable life.
Japan financed the project to upgrade the airport in Chattogram to an international airport in 1998-2001. The capacity of the airport's runway was enhanced too at that time.
A runway with a PCN of 66 is suitable for the flight of DC-10 or DC-3 aircraft, but now heavy aircraft like Boeing-777 are operating at the airport. As the safe operation of such planes requires PCN of 90, the civil aviation authority took initiatives to increase the capacity of the runway.