Sunday, May 10, 2020

Air route most effective in procuring PPEs, medicines

Guwahati: With the country in the third phase of the Covid-19 lockdown, the air route has so far been the most effective in procuring goods for the stranded people and frontline health workers. LGBI Airport in Guwahati and MBB Airport in Agartala have been two major hubs for the Lifeline Udan flights which are catering to air cargo services.

An AAI spokesperson said that other airports where regular Lifeline Udan flights are operating include Dibrugarh, Lilabari, Jorhat, Silchar and Tezpur in Assam, Dimapur in Nagaland and Imphal in Manipur. Helicopter services were also operational simultaneously and have been important in reaching out to remote and higher altitude regions in Arunachal Pradesh and Shillong in Meghalaya.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has been providing navigational and on-ground services for the Lifeline Udan flights, enabling smooth and timely flow of medical goods and supporting items to the states. The cargo goods mostly include medical items consisting of PPEs, medicines, masks and other essentials to help state governments in the fight against the virus. Apart from these, the AAI is also distributing food grains, face masks and other dry ration to the people most affected by the lockdown.

"Till May 7, over 465 Lifeline Udan flights have covered 4,51,038 km to deliver more than 836 tonnes of air cargo in the country. The figure in northeast stands approximately at 350 tonnes," said Sanjeev Jindal, regional executive director, AAI-Northeast.

He added, "From March 25, the day when government started Lifeline Udan services in the country to help supply of medical items, all NER airports were open for the emergency and essential flight movements including air ambulances. Till date, our airports are operational for these essential services with minimum manpower and while maintaining all sanitisation, hygiene processes and social distancing practices," he said.
10/05/20 Kangkan Kalita/Times of India
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