Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru has emerged as the No.1 Airport in the Country for perishable shipments.
According to Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), BLR Airport processed 31% of India’s total perishable shipments in the financial year 2020-21 i.e 48,130 Metric Tonnes of perishables.
In doing so, BLR Airport has emerged as the leading Airport for exports of poultry products and flowers during the same period. It processed 28,182 Metric Tonnes (MT) of poultry products and 1,296 MT of flowers.
The perishables including of vegetables and fruits were carried by 24 airlines to 46 international destinations. And, Doha was among the top destinations, followed by Singapore, London and Muscat.
Attributing their success BLR Airport mentioned that round-the-clock support from Indian Customs, Plant Quarantine office Bangalore, APEDA and Karnataka State Agricultural Produce Processing and Export Corporation Limited (KAPPEC), Government of Karnataka, has facilitated in creating a robust business environment and achieve this milestone.
APEDA has been instrumental in engaging with the perishable exporters, understanding their needs and in turn engaging with BLR Airport to ensure the infrastructure capabilities continue to grow with the growing demand for perishables exports globally. They have also been instrumental in the promotion of export-oriented production, improving packaging standards, training in various aspects of perishable industries and assisting perishable exporters with various financial assistance schemes.
“Perishable cargo has been one of the major growth drivers for BLR Airport. Our cargo infrastructure, powered with technology, provides rapid distribution of perishable cargo, making BLR Airport the preferred cargo airport in South India. Our aim is to create an environment that enables our cargo partners to introduce new initiatives and facilities that cater to constantly evolving demand,”Mr. Satyaki Raghunath, Chief Strategy and Development Officer, BIAL.
“In line with the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision to double the farmers’ income as well as increasing exports, APEDA has initiated several measures to improve agriculture exports from the Country. We are collaborating with airports, exporters and stakeholders to upgrade the cold-chain infrastructure which will further improve in the quality of produce. We are delighted to see that BLR Airport is becoming a preferred cargo airport for agricultural exporters not only from within Karnataka but also from across South India,”Dr. M. Angamuthu, Chairman, APEDA.
During the pandemic, BLR Airport facilitated discussions between the trade and statutory bodies from both Government of India (GOI) and Government of Karnataka in a common forum to discuss the policies and benefits of schemes like Krishi Udaan from GOI for the perishable sector. This resulted in creation of new markets for farmers, which was essential to ensure that the farm produce could reach consumers in far-flung areas in a timely manner.
BLR Airport has transformed itself as the preferred choice for perishable shipments in India by leveraging its conducive geographic location, aided with robust infrastructure, operated by AI SATS and Menzies Aviation Bobba Bangalore, and adequate airline capacities to key markets globally. This has attracted shippers from neighbouring states towards BLR Airport for the transportation of their produce.
Furthermore, understanding the essence of time when dealing with perishables, BIAL has made key tech-driven interventions to ensure there is no temperature excursion, reduce the handling time and speed up clearance of consignments. All farm-fresh commodities reach their destinations within 24 hours of harvest.
BLR Airport is equipped with a dedicated cold zone- AISATS Coolport – with the capacity to handle 40,000 MT per annum and temperature zones ranging from -25 to +25 degrees Centigrade under the same roof.
Additionally, Menzies Aviation Bobba Bangalore too has a cold zone, with a capacity of 20,000 MT per annum, and also the capability to handle 20 Unit Load Device (ULD) Pallets from 15 to 25 degrees Centigrade and 2 ULD for 2 to 8 degrees Centigrade.
Currently, 14 dedicated freighters operate to and from BLR Airport, and there is also additional belly capacity in passenger aircraft. On an average, BLR Airport has 30-33 daily freighter movements.
The current cargo capacity of BLR Airport is 715,000 Metric Tonnes (MT) annually, which is the largest cargo processing capacity in South India. This is expandable up to 850,000 MT. BIAL aims to expand its cargo infrastructure to provide a capacity of approx. 1.5 Million MT by mid-2030’s.