The Tirupati Airport (IATA: TIR, ICAO: VOTP) is preparing to commence domestic air cargo operations, for which a full-fledged cargo terminal is being built.
The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security has recently given a go-ahead to the airport for its cargo service operations after considering the airport’s potential for handling special cargo flights.
Following the nod, the airport authority has proposed plans to create a designated domestic air cargo terminal. The airport has therefore converted the old terminal building to handle the cargo service. Around 320 sq metres of the old terminal building would be used for handling the incoming cargo and the other for the outbound cargo, reports suggest.
“We have received the BCAS clearances. The terminal works are going on fast and the service will be launched soon. The terminal would handle high-value cargo such as electronic spares and it would later handle perishable cargo too. Initially, only the belly cargo service will be handled. With the existing air services, belly cargo can carry goods up to 10 tonne a day.”~ S. Suresh, Director of Tirupati airport
The seamless connectivity of the Tirupati Airport to various destinations will help it provide an impetus to the airlifting of perishable goods once it commences its air cargo services while also resulting in the rise of passenger traffic. This will also boost the earnings of the farming community in the Chittoor district and ensure timely and efficient transport of their produce to other parts of the country, the official said.
“Tirupati is fast developing into a base for export of many products. There’s scope to tap the agri sector in Chittoor and neighbouring districts from which perishable goods could be airlifted to other cities. This will benefit the catchment areas of Chittoor, Nellore, Kurnool and Kadapa districts of the Rayalaseema region,” noted the airport director.
The domestic air passenger traffic at Tirupati Airport has shown signs of gradual recovery with sequential growth in the passenger footfall from 29,978 in October last to 60,299 in February, slowly reaching the pre-Covid levels. Accordingly, the number of flights has also increased to 681 from 410 in October.
As per the AAI traffic report, the number of flights operated at this airport in November last was 388 with 33,013 passenger footfalls, followed by December with 655 aircraft and 47,832 passenger footfalls, and January with 739 (688,51) aircraft and 58,148 footfalls.