Biman has to wait ‘some more’ to fly to US: Officials

Biman has to wait ‘some more’ to fly to US: Officials

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Biman Bangladesh Airlines will have to wait ‘some more time’ before it can operate flights to the United States (US).Aviation officials of Bangladesh say that the national flag carrier will need some time to upgrade itself to Category 1 in US Federal Aviation Authority’s (FAA) ratings.The FAA currently rates Biman as a Category 2 airlines, which means the Dhaka-New York flight will not happen anytime soon.“We are trying to complete the FAA audit by this year. Once that is done, there will be no bar for Bangladeshi planes to enter the US airspace”, said Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) Chairman M Sanaul Haque.
The proposals for a new CAAB organogram and amendment of laws—according to FAA technical review—are yet to be approved by the government.“The Civil Aviation Ordnance of 1960 and 1985 has been updated. A review of the Flight Standard Regulations is completed. We hope that the new Air Navigation Orders will be published by June or July,” said the CAAB chief.Meanwhile, the Biman top official says there are slim chances of the New York flights starting this year.“The CAAB and FAA are working for that, but a final decision on this will not be possible before the year ends,” Biman Managing Director Kyle Heywood had told reporters.
An FAA prohibition in 1996 stopped Biman’s New York flight.
In 2013, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the US and Bangladesh to reopen the flight.But it will come into effect only after Biman upgrades itself from a Category 2 airlines to Category 1.According to CAAB, 136 Aviation Inspectors of Bangladesh have participated in workshops at FAA’s Oklahoma Aviation Academy between Mar 8 and May 5 this year.Biman top official Heywood, however, apprehends whether a Dhaka-New York flight would be profitable for the national carrier.“There’s a political decision to operate in that route, but from a business perspective it will only add to Biman’s losses,” he said.Biman’s fleet includes six Boeing 777 aircrafts, meant for long routes, which are used for flights in the Middle East, which are ‘profitable’, added Heywood.

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