BIAL has been sprinting towards becoming a runway for excellence and innovation, establishing the Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (BLR Airport) as India’s leading airport for perishable shipments since late 2021. During FY2020-21, the BLR Airport processed 48,130 MT of perishables, including 28,182 MT of poultry and 1,296 MT of flowers, as per the APEDA database. The top among 46 international destinations, for a whopping 31% of the country’s total perishable shipments, were Doha, Singapore, London and Muscat.
“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,”Satyaki Raghunath, Chief Strategy and Development Officer, BIAL
The favourable developments at the BLR Airport are a result of the efforts of a number of organizations. The Airport gets 24×7 assistance from Indian Customs, and the Plant Quarantine Office in Bangalore, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) & the Karnataka State Agricultural Produce Processing and Export Corporation Limited (KAPPEC) help in faster movement. The APEDA acts as the link between perishables’ exporters and the BLR Airport to facilitate seamless transportation of cargo. 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.
BIAL has ensured that BLR Airport offers a conducive storage as well as transportation environment for perishable goods. Their tech innovations help to maintain the quality and freshness of perishables on delivery, apart from sticking to a TAT of 24 hours from the time of harvest. This in turn, strengthens BLR Airport’s standing in the competitive market.
Leading up to Valentine’s Day this year, BLR proved its forte in perishable cargo handling by shipping ~3.15 lakh kg and ~2 lakh kg rose stems to domestic and international destinations, respectively. The top domestic destinations for roses include Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Guwahati and Chandigarh. Among the top international destinations were Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, London, Amsterdam, Kuwait, Auckland, Beirut, Manila, Muscat and Dubai.
“Bengaluru is the biggest exporter of roses in India. At BLR Airport, we take pride in becoming a channel to aid the local community, growers and shippers by facilitating shipment of their produce while maintaining freshness. Our cargo infrastructure, powered by technology, provides rapid distribution of perishable cargo, making BLR Airport the preferred cargo airport in South India. We will continue to work with our cargo partners to introduce new initiatives and facilities that cater to constantly evolving demand,” said Mr Raghunath
Behind the perishables’ success story is the best in class cold-chain infrastructure at the Airport – AISATS Coolport with capacity of 40,000 MT/year and the Menzies Aviation Bobba Bangalore (MABB) cold zone with capacity of 20,000 MT/year. The cold zones at the Airport operate on temperatures ranging from -25 to +25 degree centigrade, both under the same roof. The Plant Quarantine Inspection and Certification facility at the Airport enables seamless and faster transit of perishables.
BLR Airport is also one of the only 4 airports in India to partner with Envirotainer, a world leader in active cold-chain solutions for air cargo. Their temperature-controlled cargo solutions are especially beneficial for transportation of temperature sensitive pharmaceuticals to be transported without any break in the cold chain. Considering that pharma shipments make almost 13% of BLR Airport’s total international shipments, it is only fair that BIAL invests in topnotch technology advancements.
In fact, the MABB terminal is now equipped with IoT based TAGBOX technology, which gives exporters real-time data about the critical aspects of temperature sensitive cargo on the move, including pharmaceuticals, dairy, meat, flowers, fruits and vegetables, seafood, etc. The battery-powered Tag360 sensor, attached to each small SKU, box or pallet, tracks the product’s temperature from the time it leaves the warehouse to the point it is loaded onto an aircraft at BLR Airport. Shippers and agents can monitor the end-to-end health of their products through a central monitoring dashboard via a web or mobile interface. Remote temperature monitoring also allows companies to enhance visibility of the product and meet regulatory compliance