Vijayawada airport in Andhra Pradesh might soon have a designated building spanning across 2,500 square metres for handling exclusive cargo operations, reports suggest. Apart from this, a cold storage facility will also be set up for the storage and transhipment of temperature-sensitive cargo.
Airport authorities have informed that estimates in this regards are in final stages and tenders will be invited shortly. It may be noted that the domestic cargo facility was launched at the old terminal building in June 2018 and, the services commenced in August. About 40 tonnes of cargo is handled per day.
As per reports, Shreepa Logistics, a private firm, was given the contract to serve as the facility’s logistics partner.
The reports further suggest that the airport authorities have mooted the idea of a designated building for cargo operations along with cold storage facility, considering the airport’s potential for handling special cargo flights operated by the IAF and Air India from New Delhi carrying emergency medical supplies, including PPE, N95 masks and sanitisers, during COVID-19.
“We submitted representations to the AAI officials and they have prepared proposals for a designated building to handle cargo operations and a cold storage facility for preserving perishable goods,”~ Andhra Pradesh Chambers General Secretary Potluri Bhaskar Rao
Vijayawada airport is not handling as much traffic as expected. In spite of several awareness campaigns, the airport has been handling below one tonne of cargo per day through domestic flights as many prefer to export goods to various countries from Hyderabad airport.
Rao added that the AAI should take measures to sensitise people, exporters and businessmen about the cargo facility at the airport and evolve steps for operating exclusive cargo flights linking Vijayawada with Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities.
Citing an example, he said, the farmers of Krishna and Godavari districts can export around 15 tonnes of farm produce such as mangoes, red chillies, spices and handlooms to various places in the country.
Also, aqua products can be exported to New Delhi, which has a huge demand for Andhra prawns, Rao said. Airport Director G Madhusudana Rao informed that at least 3 to 4 tonnes of goods can be exported/imported by utilising the cargo facility.
“Recently, SpiceXpress has expressed willingness to handle cargo from Vijayawada airport. A meeting will be convened shortly with potential industries for increasing the cargo capacity as the airlines are offering negotiable prices to customers,” he said.
Source: The New Indian Express