Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport , ( Bengali : হযরত শাহ্জালাল আন্তর্জাতিক বিমানবন্দর Hôzrôt Shahjalal Antôrjatik Bimanbôndôr ) ( IATA : DAC , ICAO : VGHS (old: VGZR) ), is the largest and most prominent international airport in Bangladesh . It is located in Kurmitola 11 miles (17 kilometres) from city centre, in the northern part of the capital city Dhaka and it is also a part of BAF Bangabandhu Base used by the Bangladesh Air Force . The airport has an area of 1,981 acres (802 ha). The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) operates and maintains the airport. It started operations in 1980, taking over from Tejgaon Airport as the principal international airport of the country and was formerly known as Dacca International Airport and later as Zia International Airport, before being named in honour of Shah Jalal , who is one of the most respected Sufi saints of Bangladesh. The IATA code of the airport " DAC " is derived from "Dacca", which is the previously used spelling for "Dhaka". Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport is the primary hub of the national flag carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines . In addition, it is also the main hub of most of the private airlines in Bangladesh including Regent Airways , Novoair and US-Bangla Airlines . The annual passenger handling capacity of the airport is 18.5 million passengers and this passenger handling capacity is predicted by CAAB to be sufficient until 2026. In 2014 the airport handled 9.1 million passengers and 248,000 tonnes of cargo. Average aircraft movement per day is around 190 flights. Ground handling at the airport is provided by Biman Ground Handling , which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the national flag carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines.