Hubbali airport to start cargo services
Team Udayavani, Dec 18, 2020, 12:34 PM IST
Hubballi: Hubballi Domestic Airport is ready to house northern Karnataka’s first dedicated domestic air cargo terminal. The functioning of the terminal is expected to start from February 2021.
Reports state that the upcoming cargo terminal, which will cost around Rs.60.06 lakhs, shall have secured storage space for both inbound and outbound cargo, a dedicated room for valuables and dangerous goods. It will also have the provision for commercial space that can be utilised by airlines, major freight forwarders/logistics players like postal authorities and e-commerce players.
The cargo terminal which takes up about 700 square metre, shall have annual cargo holding capacity 15,000 metric tonnes.
Hubballi Airport Director Pramod Kumar Thakre informed that the regulatory authorities had completed their preliminary inspection and that the final inspection is expected by end of January.
“We are hopeful of commissioning the facility before the end of this financial year- after complying all the statutory regulations in respect of aviation security” asserted Pramod Kumar.
Cargo Logistics & Allied Services Company Limited, a subsidiary of Airports Authority of India, has given in-principle approval for conversion of the old passenger terminal into the cargo handling section.
President of Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), said the commencement of the cargo terminal could be a game changer for the industries here. Adding that it would speed up transport of agro-based products (including food processing), chemicals and automotive parts.
At present, around 30-40 export oriented industries are making use of the cargo service provided by Indigo Airlines. Although, if the dedicated cargo terminal starts operating, it would help several other industries to flourish in the next 12-20 months, he added.
Shanmugappa Munavalli, a horticulture farmer from Bagalkot said that with cargo facility he plans to export his grapes to other countries and improve his earnings as currently his grapes are only sold in neighboring districts.
Thakre said that current operating airlines’ such as Indigo and Star Air have expressed their interest in operating through this terminal.
Setting up cold storage for COVID-19 vaccine
Pramod Kumar Thakre informed that a proposal to release funds to set up cold storage to store COVID-19 vaccine at the airport has been sent.
As per the recent instructions by the Union Government, all cargo terminals must have a cold storage unit for storing COVID-19 vaccine, which is expected any time soon.
Thakre added that they are expecting an approval to the proposal in few days and a tender shall be called to set up a cold storage with the capacity of 3 to 4 tonnes and maintain a temperature of 2-4 degree Celsius.
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