Tirupati airport to kick off cargo service soon

Considering the airport's potential for handling cargo flights, the airport authority has put forward plans for domestic cargo operations

TIRUPATI: The temple city would soon find a place on domestic air cargo map. A full-fledged cargo terminal is all set for commissioning.

Considering the airport’s potential for handling special cargo flights, the airport authority has put forward plans for domestic cargo operations from this airport. Accordingly, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security recently gave clearance to the airport for cargo service operations.

Following this, the airport authority mooted plans to create a designated domestic air cargo terminal. The old terminal building has been converted in ways as to handle the cargo service. Around 320 sq metres of the old terminal building would be used for handling the incoming cargo and the other for the outbound cargo.

“We have received the BCAS clearances. The terminal works are going on fast and the service will be launched soon. The terminal would handle high value cargo such as electronic spares and it would later handle perishable cargo too. Initially, only the belly cargo service will be handled. With the existing air services, belly cargo can carry goods upto 10 tonne a day”, S. Suresh, director of Tirupati airport, told this newspaper.

Tirupati airport is directly connected to various destinations. Starting air cargo services from here would result in a passenger traffic rise and provide an impetus to the airlifting of perishable goods. This will boost the earnings of the farming community in Chittoor district and ensure timely and efficient transport of their produce to other parts of the country, the official said.

“Tirupati is fast developing into a base for export of many products. There’s scope to tap the agri sector in Chittoor and neighbouring districts from which perishable goods could be airlifted to other cities. This will benefit the catchment areas of Chittoor, Nellore, Kurnool and Kadapa districts of the Rayalaseema region,” noted the airport director.

Meanwhile, domestic air passenger traffic at Tirupati airport showed a gradual recovery with a sequential growth in the passenger footfall from 29,978 in October last to 60,299 in February, slowly reaching the pre-Covid levels. Accordingly, the number of flights has also increased to 681 from 410 in October.

As per the AAI traffic report, the number of flights operated at this airport in November last was 388 with 33,013 passenger footfalls, followed by December with 655 aircraft and 47,832 passenger footfalls, and January with 739 (688,51) aircraft and 58,148 footfalls.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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