New Delhi: The cargo terminal and associated facilities at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in New Delhi amid the 21-days lockdown in the country has been operating in full swing to support the Government of India in handling and processing essential commodities, mainly the healthcare and medical supplies.
While the passenger flight movements have been suspended since March 25, 2020, the cargo freighters continue to operate in and out of the Delhi Airport to date.
The IGI airport is handling over 20-22 cargo flights per day including the 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 the 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.
Over 19 lakh face masks, two lakh bottles of sanitizers, 1.5 lakh PPE kits and 50,000 other medical equipment have been channelized across India since the complete lockdown was imposed in India on March 24.
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.
Additional warehouse space of over 5,000 square meters is being made at the airport for holding import cargos.
As of now, the airport has the capacity to handle over 1.8 million MT of cargo annually, which is scalable to 2.3 million MT.
In FY’19, the airport achieved a new milestone of handling over 1 million MT cargo, the highest volume of cargo handled by any airport in India in a year.
Delhi airport has a world-class dedicated temperature control facility to ensure an end-to-end temperature-controlled supply chain. The facility can handle around 1.5 lakh MT perishable and pharma cargo annually.
It is the first Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) certified airport by Indian Customs, and also the first to receive e-AWB 360 (e-Airways Bill 360) certification from IATA (International Air Transport Association) for achieving 100% e-freight compliant processes.
Since the lockdown, the IGI airport has also handled around 56 evacuation flights and helped over 10,000 stranded foreigners reaching their homes.