The security of Cox's Bazar Airport is compromised in the absence of a proper boundary wall.
Even though there are some walls at some points of the important installation, the walls are severely damaged and cracked in places. And because of this, locals can freely enter the airport and use the runway as a "shortcut" and many even enter to explore the airport grounds.
Not only humans, but animals also enter the airport through the broken parts of the walls and put their own as well as the passengers' lives at risk. In fact, on 30 November, two cows were killed after getting hit by the wings of a Bangladesh Biman plane during takeoff.
NaimulHaqueNaim, commander of Armed Police Battalion (APBN) 14, who is one of the personnel in charge of the airport security, said, "The cows were unfortunately hit by the plane's right-wing and died on the spot. But the aircraft was successful in flying with 94 passengers."
After the incident, a four-member probe committee was formed to investigate the incident. The members of Bangladesh Ansar who were on duty at the time of the incident were withdrawn as well, according to MdGolamMortuza Hossain, manager of Cox's Bazar Airport.
The airport authorities started to renovate Cox's Bazar Airport in 2015 to upgrade it to an international airport. Later in 2017 due to the Rohingya influx in Bangladesh, the airport was hurriedly opened as an international airport, with the renovation work left incomplete.
Currently, every day the airport sees nine to ten regular flights of Bangladesh Biman, Novoair, and US-Bangla Airlines along with five to six cargo planes.
Addressing the recent incident of the two cows being killed inside the airport, Lt Colonel (Retd) Forkan Ahmed, chairman of Cox's Bazar Development Authority and a security analyst, said, even though there has been some infrastructural development inside the airport, there is an alarming lack of security measures.
"The airport does not have enough scanners and not even a proper guide wall surrounding the airport," he said.
He stated the existing limitations need to be addressed soon to avert any future unfortunate incidents.
MdGolamMortuza Hossain of Cox's Bazar Airport said boundary walls are being repaired at several points at the airport and once it is done, the airport's security will improve significantly.
Cox's Bazar-2 MP AsheqUllahRafiq, member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee for the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, said an emergency meeting of the parliamentary standing committee took place on 1 December after the unfortunate incident with the cows.
"Instructions were given to repair the damaged walls and keep the areas without boundaries guarded till walls are constructed," Rafiq added.