State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism, Md Mahbub Ali, while visiting the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Monday, asked the authorities concerned to stop harassing passengers – both inbound and outbound – and not to interrogate them unnecessarily.
The minister visited the country's premier airport in the capital to observe service quality at the airport that people have repeatedly been raising questions about.
"Every day around 21,000 passengers fly through Dhaka airport. Interrogating all of them is not a good practice," he told reporters after the visit, saying there is no need to question everyone.
He urged the authorities to check only those who seemed dubious. "If necessary, interrogate them separately."
"We have also discussed the matter with the home ministry, customs authorities, and others, and sought their cooperation to ensure a hassle-free environment at the airport," added Mahbub Ali.
The state minister said they are preparing to start Hajj flights from 31 May, and staying alert on the outbreak of a new viral disease – Monkeypox.
Mentioning that a ministry team has been kept at the airport to observe services, he said they would launch e-gates there soon. "We have talked to passengers, and they say they faced no issues in immigration."
Asking airport employees to come in at least 30 minutes prior to their duty time, he urged them to be more cordial.
Earlier, on 9 May, Prime Minister's Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman visiting the airport expressed dissatisfaction with its service quality. Not only Salman F Rahman, but many others have complained about the matter for some time now. Passengers have also expressed their frustration in different public hearings organised by the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh.
On the issue, Mahbub Ali said they were yet to manage all things properly. "We have some limitations. However, we are working on overcoming them." He hoped that completion of the third terminal construction would ease the situation.
The state minister said they want to start Hajj flights from 31 May and the rest will depend on Saudi Arabia. During the two month Hajj travel period, Biman flights on less-important and less-profitable routes will be cut back to facilitate Hajj flights. "However, scheduled flights will not be hampered."