Bangladesh to Upgrade the Saidpur Airport to Boost Connectivity with BIN Neighbors
1 January 2023
The Government of Bangladesh plans to upgrade its northernmost airport, the Saidpur airport in Nilphamari, into an international airport, according to a report by the Daily Star. Saidpur airport can be a key transit point to boost connectivity between Bangladesh and its BIN neighbors—Bhutan, India’s northeastern region, and Nepal. It is 260 kilometers away from Dhaka and takes around 48 minutes travel time by air. Official estimates place travel times from Saidpur airport to Bhutan, India's northeastern region, and Nepal, at around 30 and 50 minutes. It will be the country's fifth international airport once completed.
In February 2020, Mr. Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Foreign Minister of the Government of Nepal, proposed using the airport for a meeting with Mr. AK Abdul Momen, Foreign Minister of the Government of Bangladesh during a visit to Bangladesh. After the meeting, Mr. Momen remarked that the Government has decided to expand Saidpur airport to facilitate flights from Nepal and improve connectivity, trade, and tourism with the country.
Mr. Karma Tshering, Secretary of Economic Affairs of the Government of Bhutan, and Mr. Tipu Munshi, Commerce Minister of the Government of Bangladesh, used Saidpur airport for the same purpose during a visit. Mr. Munshi noted that bilateral trade and connectivity with Bhutan would increase tremendously if Saidpur airport and its nearby land ports were properly utilized.