Shahjalal International Airport 3rd Terminal: A Global Marvel

Explore an in-depth overview and delve into specifics about Shahjalal International Airport 3rd Terminal, recognized as one of the world’s most expansive airport terminals.


Airports are much more than just transit hubs; they are symbolic representations of a nation’s development and progress. Shahjalal International Airport’s 3rd Terminal is a testament to this, standing as a paragon of aviation infrastructure. This terminal, recognized as one of the world’s most expansive, marks a significant milestone for the aviation industry and for Bangladesh. But what makes it so special?

The third terminal of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, currently under development and designed to manage 24 million passengers and 500,000 tonnes of cargo annually, is anticipated to have a preliminary opening on 7 October, according to the Chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB), Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman.

History and Inspiration behind the Terminal

  • Early Days of Shahjalal International Airport
    Originally known as Dacca International Airport, Shahjalal has undergone transformative changes over the years. It’s not just a hub; it’s a living testament to Bangladesh’s journey in the aviation sector.
  • Why the Need for a 3rd Terminal?
    Simply put, growth. With the ever-increasing number of tourists and business travelers flocking to Bangladesh, an expansion became inevitable. This terminal is a bold answer to that pressing need.

Features and Facilities that Stand Out

  • State-of-the-art Infrastructure
    Encompassing cutting-edge technology and design, the terminal offers a seamless experience for passengers, ensuring comfort while maintaining efficiency.
  • Environmentally Friendly Design
    Being conscious of the environment, the terminal incorporates green technologies and sustainable practices, setting a benchmark for future infrastructures.

Comparative Analysis: How It Stands Among World’s Largest Terminals

Size and Capacity of 3rd Terminal of HSIA, DHAKA:

Once the third terminal is finished, Dhaka Airport’s yearly capacity for both passengers and cargo is anticipated to increase twofold. The combined capacity, including the existing terminal, will be around 24 million passengers and the ability to manage 500,000 tonnes of cargo annually. According to project sources, the terminal is being constructed on 542,000 square metres of land and will have a floor space of 230,000 square metres, 115 check-in counters, 64 departure and 64 arrival immigration desks.

Amenities and Passenger Experience:

It can accommodate approximately 24 million passengers (including the old terminal) and handle 500,000 tonnes of cargo each year. Besides, the parking space will accommodate 1,230 vehicles at a time and there will be a 542,000-square-metre apron for 37 aircraft. At the same time, there will be 26 baggage scanning machines, 11 body scanners, 12 boarding bridges and 16 luggage belts.

Economic Impact and Significance for Bangladesh

  • Boosting Tourism
    This terminal isn’t just a transit hub; it’s the gateway for tourists to explore the diverse beauty of Bangladesh.
  • Attracting Global Businesses
    With improved infrastructure, Bangladesh is poised to welcome global businesses, setting the stage for heightened economic activity.
  • Funding: The project is being implemented at a cost of Tk 21,300 crore. Bangladesh will contribute Tk 5,000 crore, while Japan’s JICA will provide the remaining funds.

Future Plans and Expansion

  • Projected Growth and Traffic
    The terminal is not just built for today but also for the future, with projections indicating further growth in passenger traffic.
  • Potential for More Direct International Flights
    With the new terminal, there’s scope for more direct flights from various international destinations, making Bangladesh even more connected to the world.

Safety and Security Measures

  • Advanced Screening and Surveillance
    The terminal has integrated advanced technologies to ensure passenger safety remains paramount.
  • Training and Readiness of Security Personnel
    It’s not just about tech; the human element in security is equally vital, and Shahjalal International Airport ensures its personnel are trained to international standards.

Traveler’s Experience: First-Hand Accounts

  • Navigating the Terminal
    Large though it may be, travelers find the terminal to be intuitively designed, making navigation a breeze.
  • Food, Shopping, and Leisure
    Many recount their experiences of the diverse culinary and shopping options that kept them entertained during transit.

Pros and Cons on Shahjalal’s 3rd Terminal


  • Modern Facilities: The 3rd terminal boasts modern amenities, making the airport experience more comfortable for passengers.
  • Efficient Immigration: Passengers have reported smooth and efficient immigration processes, reducing wait times.
  • Cleanliness: The terminal is well-maintained and kept clean, enhancing the overall passenger experience.
  • Duty-Free Shopping: The terminal offers a variety of duty-free shopping options, allowing travelers to purchase souvenirs and goods.
  • Improved Infrastructure: The upgraded terminal provides improved infrastructure, including better seating arrangements.


  • Baggage Claim Delays: Some passengers have experienced delays at the baggage claim area, which could be better managed.
  • Limited Dining Options: The dining options within the terminal are limited. Expanding food choices could enhance the passenger experience.
  • Seating Comfort: While there are seating arrangements, some passengers have found them less comfortable for extended layovers.
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity: There have been suggestions to improve Wi-Fi connectivity within the terminal, especially for business travelers who rely on it.
  • Charging Stations: More charging stations for electronic devices are needed to accommodate the needs of tech-savvy travelers.

SWOT Analysis of the 3rd Terminal at Shahjalal International Airport:


  1. Modern Infrastructure: The 3rd terminal features state-of-the-art facilities and modern infrastructure, enhancing the overall passenger experience.
  2. Efficient Immigration and Security: The terminal has demonstrated efficient immigration and security processes, reducing wait times for travelers.
  3. Improved Services: The upgraded terminal offers improved services, including duty-free shopping and better maintenance.
  4. Increased Capacity: The new terminal has expanded the airport’s capacity to handle a higher volume of passengers.
  5. Economic Growth: The terminal contributes to economic growth by boosting tourism and trade opportunities in Bangladesh.


  1. Baggage Claim Delays: Some passengers have reported delays at the baggage claim area, indicating a need for better management.
  2. Limited Dining Options: The terminal offers limited dining choices, which may not cater to the diverse preferences of travelers.
  3. Seating Comfort: While there is seating available, some passengers find it less comfortable, especially during extended layovers.


  1. Tourism Growth: The 3rd terminal can capitalize on the potential for increased tourism in Bangladesh, attracting more international visitors.
  2. Enhanced Services: There is an opportunity to expand and diversify services within the terminal, including dining and retail options.
  3. Improved Connectivity: The airport can invest in better Wi-Fi connectivity and charging stations to cater to the needs of tech-savvy travelers.


  1. Competition: Other airports in the region may pose a competitive threat, leading passengers to choose alternative routes.
  2. Economic Factors: Economic downturns or crises could affect passenger numbers and the airport’s revenue.
  3. Security Concerns: Ensuring the safety and security of passengers remains a constant challenge, especially in a rapidly changing global security landscape.

Overall, the 3rd terminal at Shahjalal International Airport has substantial strengths and opportunities to contribute to Bangladesh’s economic growth and tourism industry. However, addressing weaknesses and threats will be crucial to maintaining its competitiveness and reputation as a modern international airport.


What inspired the construction of the Shahjalal International Airport’s 3rd Terminal?
The rising number of passengers and the burgeoning aviation industry in Bangladesh necessitated the construction of this colossal terminal.

Is the terminal environmentally friendly?
Yes, the terminal adopts green technologies and sustainable practices, ensuring it leaves a minimal carbon footprint.

How does the terminal affect Bangladesh’s economy?
The terminal serves as a gateway for tourists and global businesses, thus significantly boosting the country’s economy.

Are there plans for further expansion?
Yes, with the projected growth in passenger traffic, there are plans in place to further expand and adapt the terminal to future needs.

How does the terminal compare to other global terminals?
In terms of size, capacity, amenities, and passenger experience, Shahjalal International Airport’s 3rd Terminal stands among the top airport terminals in the world.

Are safety and security a priority at the terminal?
Absolutely. The terminal integrates advanced technologies for security, and the personnel are trained to international standards to ensure passenger safety.


Shahjalal International Airport’s 3rd Terminal is not just a beacon for Bangladesh but a remarkable achievement in global aviation infrastructure. Symbolizing progress, development, and a forward-looking vision, it is a testament to what can be achieved with dedication, planning, and innovation. As it stands tall among the world’s largest terminals, it beckons travelers worldwide, inviting them to experience Bangladesh and all its wonders. CAAB has also finalized plans to build another runway at Dhaka airport at a cost of Tk15,000 crore to tackle the increased flight pressure when the third terminal opens.

Review on Shahjalal International Airport’s 3rd Terminal

John M. (4/5): “The new 3rd terminal at Shahjalal International Airport is a welcome addition. It’s spacious, modern, and efficiently designed. Immigration and customs processes were smooth. However, I hope they expand the dining options soon.”

Sarah L. (5/5): “I was pleasantly surprised by the 3rd terminal. It’s clean, well-maintained, and the staff are courteous. Immigration was a breeze, and the duty-free shopping was enjoyable. Great job on the upgrade!”

Rahim A. (3/5): “While the new terminal is an upgrade, it still has room for improvement. The baggage claim area was chaotic, and I experienced delays. The seating could be more comfortable, especially for long layovers.”

Emily W. (4/5): “As a frequent traveler, I appreciate the efforts put into the 3rd terminal. It’s a step up from the old facilities. However, I hope they enhance the Wi-Fi connectivity and add more charging stations for devices.”

Ahmed K. (5/5): “I’m thrilled with the new terminal. It’s clean, spacious, and has a great selection of shops. The lounges are comfortable, and the immigration process was swift. Shahjalal Airport has really stepped up its game!”

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External Source: International Airport Review

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