The recent guidelines issued by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has changed the cargo security screening process from the earlier self-screening process of all individual airlines carried out by their staff and equipment to now a single point airport cargo services screening.
These new guidelines brought the air cargo movement in Visakhapatnam Airport to a grinding halt, due to the insufficient staff and equipment in the cargo department of Airport Authority of India.
However, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has given another three months of time to handle the air cargo operations from Visakhapatnam, giving relief to the hatcheries community of Visakhapatnam.
The extension of cargo operations was granted by the Union Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia after Visakhapatnam MP MVV Satyanarayana wrote to the minister on request from hatcheries communities of Visakhapatnam, Bhogapuram, Kakinada and Srikakulam, who are largely dependent on air cargo for their business.
In his letter to the Minister, the MP informed that Visakhapatnam is the ninth largest city in India in terms of GDP and home to a large pharma, textile, food and multi products. He requested the Union Minister to kindly consider his request and allow the air cargo operations for another three months.
The recent statistics show that 3.22 lakh shrimp seeds were airlifted from Visakhapatnam Airport from February 15 to March 23. Shrimps transported through air cargo in the fiscal year 2020-21, were about 13.23 lakh-kg, 2021-22, close to13.27 lakh-kg.
During the pandemic, the frequent closure of the domestic operation and international flights adversely affected the cargo operation at Visakhapatnam Airport. Now, that the airport authorities have appointed a few staff and procuring storage equipment for cargo handling, officials are taking a sigh of relief as time has been extended for the cargo movement.