The Bangladesh government approved a draft agreement between Air France and the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB). Under the agreement, a long-range state of the art radar system will be purchased from Thales that will enable the authorities to identify all aircraft entering the airspace of Bangladesh.
A virtual cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday (20th of July 2020) approved the draft agreement to be signed between the French Directorate General of Civil Aviation and CAAB for technical assistance and exchange of information on aviation.
Bangladesh and France will work together to implement various standards and recommended practices in the aviation field. Bangladesh will attain improvement in air navigation and safety as a result of the technical cooperation.
France will also help Bangladesh improve its flight and maintenance of civilian aircraft through the agreement. Moreover the overall management at Bangladesh’s airports will be further improved as a result of the enhanced training and European standard processes.
Separate audits will be carried out by the aviation authorities of the two countries and after comparing the results the French will identify any flight safety issues of civilian aircraft and ask the CAAB to take steps to improve areas with shortcomings.
Since France will supply a new radar system it will ensure the civil aviation authorities can also earn revenues from all aircraft that are detected by Bangladesh’s air surveillance network.
The Thales group will supply radar system, associated support and security equipment at Hazrat Shah Jalal International Airport (HSIA) in Dhaka at a cost of approximately $100 million.
Thales will supply the radar system through Air France under a Government-to-Government (G2G) basis. Foreign aircraft using Bangladesh’s airspace will have to pay $500 as a fee.
In recent years Bangladesh and France have started improving defence cooperation. France’s defence minister and Chief of Air Staff visited Bangladesh earlier this year. They offered to supply the Dassault Rafale multi-role fighter aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and advanced training to the Bangladesh Air Force.
The Bangladesh Army has already purchased Thales-made air surveillance radar systems. So far the Bangladesh Air Force opted for Italian-made radar systems supplied by Leonardo. France has an opportunity to fulfil Bangladesh’s requirement for advanced combat aircraft but will be facing strong competition from Leonardo’s Eurofighter Typhoon.