Saturday, April 11, 2020

Delhi Airport now a hub for movement of healthcare, medical supplies across India

Amid the lockdown imposed to help contain the spread of coronavirus, the cargo terminal and associated facilities at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) have been operating in full swing to support the Government of India in handling and processing essential commodities, especially healthcare and medical supplies.

While passenger flight movements have been suspended with effect from 25th March 2020, cargo freighters continue to operate in and out of the Delhi Airport to date.

Delhi Airport is handling 20-22 cargo flights per day (including non-scheduled operations), with freighters arriving from destinations like Doha, Paris, Hongkong, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Incheon.

Delhi’s Air Cargo supply chain has geared up during this lockdown period for handling a significant number of cargo freighters that are bringing essential supplies like Masks, Medicines, Medical equipment, Test kits, Reagents, and other supplies. This also includes adequate staff from Cargo Terminal Operators, CISF, Customs, Ground Handling, Airlines, and DIAL coming to the Cargo Terminal Offices and Processing Centre to ensure seamless operations round the clock.

Ever since the lockdown came into force, around 19 lakh pieces of face masks, two lakh bottles of sanitizers, 1.5 lakh PPE Kits and 50,000 other medical equipment have been channelized across India to date.

The distribution of essential cargo across India has been possible in conjunction with freight flights of Air India and Indian Air Force LifeLine, who have connected even to far-flung areas of the northeast like Dimapur in Nagaland and Imphal in Manipur, as well as other cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Vijayawada, Cochin, Hyderabad, etc.

In addition to the Cargo Flights, Delhi Airport has witnessed ~3-4 Chartered Aircraft movements/day for handling medical equipment & relief material to and from Patna, Varanasi, Guwahati, Nagpur, and Vadodra. This number is expected to increase to 8-10 flights per day, basis necessary approvals obtained by the respective operators.
Additional warehouse space of ~5,000 square meters is being created at the airport for holding import cargo.

With two state-of-the-art integrated cargo terminals and the Transhipment Excellence Centre at the airside that helps in the smooth and efficient movement of cargo, Delhi airport is emerging as a transshipment hub for India’s neighbours.
11/04/20 Nivriti Mohan/DNA

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