DIRECT CARGO FLIGHTS: UK now checking Biman’s eligibility

An independent auditor yesterday started assessing whether Biman Bangladesh Airlines is eligible for a certificate, a prerequisite for resuming direct cargo flights to the United Kingdom.

The certificate is called “Air Cargo or Mail Carrier operating into the Union from a Third Country Airport (ACC3)”.

Jayne Davy arrived on Sunday and will work till Thursday to report her findings to the UK Department for Transport, Shakil Meraj, Biman\’s general manager for public relations, told The Daily Star.

Biman sources said the auditor would go for a first-hand experience to see whether the air cargo or mail security operations of the airport meet ACC3 checklist.

Davy held a meeting with Md Arif Ullah, acting general manager for cargo, and MA Wadud, general manager for corporate safety and quality, among others, yesterday and went through checklists centring the ACC3.

“We are positive that the auditor will give a report in favour of Biman to get the ACC3 certificate,” said Biman Managing Director and CEO AM Mosaddique Ahmed. Asked, he said it may take 15 to 20 days to complete all the procedures and get the certificate.

Biman will not be able to operate direct cargo flights on the Dhaka-London route unless it gets the ACC3 certificate.

The UK government on Sunday withdrew a two-year ban on the direct cargo flights, one of the sources of the country\’s foreign exchange.

Some 26 international airlines operate flights to different destinations from the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.

Only Biman operates four direct cargo flights to London every week.

The national airline incurred a loss of more than Tk 100 crore last year due to the ban, said Meraj.

According to the International Air Transport Association website, the ACC3 is a designation required for carriers to fly cargo into or through the European Union.

Since July 2014, carrier stations in third countries are required to have undergone an audit to obtain an EU Aviation Security Validation in order to acquire or maintain their ACC3 designation.

This validation needs to be reissued every five years as per the EU regulation.

To obtain the ACC3 status, an air carrier needs to submit its relevant air cargo or mail security operations in non-EU countries to an EU aviation security independent validation.

This exercise, carried out by an EU aviation security independent validator, will assess the carrier\’s security programme to ensure its relevance and completeness, according to the IATA.

Aviation News

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