Friday, November 24, 2017

Feasibility study under way for free trade zone at Kempegowda airport

Bengaluru: Creation of a free trade area (FTA) or a special economic zone (SEZ) on the sprawling premises of Kempegowda International Airport is being considered to make the airport a cargo hub for the region. Currently, a feasibility study is being undertaken.

While the fresh focus on creating a hub is being taken up as cargo business at the airport has been on the rise in the last three years, this would be a second attempt by airport operator Bangalore International Airport Ltd. (BIAL). According to a PTI report in March this year, the Union government had cancelled the approval since not much progress had been achieved on this front.

“At this point we are exploring multiple options. We know that we have to start thinking of what next when the current cargo facility reaches its capacity (5.7 lakh tonne annually). Whether we want to expand by scaling up the current facility or setting up a multi-model logistic hub or a free trade zone is currently under consideration,” Raj Andrade, vice-president (Business Development, Marketing & Strategy) of BIAL told reporters here on Thursday.
About 100 acres has been earmarked in the master plan for setting up a FTA or SEZ and that would be in line with the airport expansion plan, involving construction of terminal-2 and a second runway, he added.

According to statistics provided by the airport, the cargo operations from May 2008, when the airport started commercial operations, has grown by 142%. This fiscal, cargo handling at the airport is set to reach 3.5 lakh tonnes, up from 3.2 lakh tonnes last fiscal. Cargo business is growing at over 8%, a release from BIAL said.
24/11/17 The Hindu