Cargo business will grow: Radhakrishnan
Among the 22 airports selected by Airports Authority of India (AAI) as domestic cargo terminals, Mangalore is the first one to receive clearance from Bureau of Civil Aviation Security of India (BCAS). JT Radhakrishnan, Director, Mangalore International Airport talks to CARGOTALK about how tier-II cities can benefit with this initiative.
Q Mangalore International Airport (MIA) is the first among the 22 airports selected by AAI to start domestic cargo terminal. How do you feel about it?
MIA has commenced its domestic cargo terminal operations on June 26, 2015. As of now, no cargo flight is operating to and from the terminal, all the cargo is going in the belly space of the passenger’s flight. This domestic cargo terminal will enhance the air cargo services at tier II cities, as most of the business takes place there.
We are the first airport to get clearance for domestic air cargo terminal for which yardsticks like security were considered. When the tender process was going on in other airports, we had finalised the agency and obtained the clearances from BCAS. Cargo Service Centre (CSC), the ground handling company had already commenced the operation of domestic cargo terminal.
We have around 15-16 flights in a day and till the mid of July, we have already crossed more than 200 metric tonnes by the passenger flight belly cargo. Once the volume goes up, we are expecting more freighters in the terminal that will enhance the cargo capacity. This terminal is specifically for domestic operations; international cargo business will be done from the international terminal only.
Q What was the procedure for being the ground handler for this new terminal?
It was all based on tender. We have invited bids for a project and granted the contract of ground handling to Cargo Service Centre (CSC) as we have received the best quotes from the company.
Q What security measures are you providing to cargo in the terminal?
All security measures like X-ray, screening, CCTV, high density cameras are there for cargo.
Q Which sectors are you focusing on to increase business?
eCommerce has the potential to increase the import and export, and in few years air cargo will attract more business from this sector. This is what we are planning to tap into.
Left: JT Radhakrishnan, Director, MIA, extreme right: Tushar Jani, Chairman, CSC