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Vizag airport expects to double cargo

The airport currently handles 3,000 tonnes cargo per year

VDS Rama Raju  |  Visakhapatnam 

Visakhapatnam airport expects to double its air cargo handling during this fiscal on the back of new air cargo terminal. The government has invested more than Rs 1 crore to convert the old passenger terminal building into a separate cargo complex, which will commence operations this week, said Vinod Kumar Sharma, director, Visakhapatnam Airport.

The airport currently handles 3,000 tonnes (2,000 tonnes outward and 1,000 tonnes inward) cargo per year. The management has awarded the facility to Delex Cargo India Private Limited, which is also expected to bring in more cargo through marketing, he added.

If the government provides international handling facility and appoint a drug control here, cargo will increase substantially, said D Varada Reddy, president of Air Travelers Association of India. At present, large quantities of pharma and marine products go from this region to Hyderabad airport for export to international destinations. These can be directly exported if the airport has good facilities, resulting in exporters saving huge amounts on transport. About 70 pharma units have their operations here and the region is also base for marine products, he said.

The airport is also seeing an increase of over 10 per cent in passengers year-on-year. Last year, 1 million passengers used Vizag airport, and this year it is expected to be over 1.1 million. Currently, daily 50 services, including six international, operate from here and a few more would be added over the next one or two months, Sharma said.

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First Published: Mon, June 22 2015. 20:32 IST