Covid-19: Delhi Airport emerges hub for import, distribution of medical essentials

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on April 23, 2020

A file picture of Delhi airport   -  V_V_Krishnan

Handles 20-22 cargo flights per day

Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) has announced that the Ministry of Civil Aviation has designated Delhi Airport as major hub for Import and distribution of Covid-19 related medical essentials.

The airport is providing all the logistics support to handle, process and facilitate distribution of such consignments. A 3,800-sq mt dedicated distribution facility has been made operational within seven days. This facility performs logistics, aggregation and distribution of large consignments of medical supplies, which are being imported to India.

At this facility, the first shipment comprising of 24 MT cargo arrived on April 21 containing 70,000 protective suits. Several such consignments containing body suits, face mask, hand gloves and goggles are scheduled to flow in and get processed through the Delhi Airport in the coming days, according to a statement.

24x7 support

Despite the nation-wide lockdown, the Air Cargo terminal has been operating 24x7 to support the country in handling and processing essential commodities, especially healthcare and medical supplies.

Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, CEO, DIAL, said: “Even during the lockdown, the Delhi Airport is functioning 24x7 to handle the international and domestic cargo movements for essential commodities, including healthcare and medical supplies, and it continues to stand committed to serve the nation by working closely with all its stakeholders.”

So far over 20 lakh pieces of face masks, 2 lakh bottles of sanitizers, 70,000 body suits, 1.5 lakh PPE kits and 50,000 other medical equipment have been channelised across India through the airport.

With the support of Indian Customs and CISF, the Delhi Airport has also been able to implement a unique arrangement to hold the Import cargo in the vacant Export zones, which helps utilise Export bonded area for storage of up to 152 shipments of Import cargo while ensuring necessary separation, much in line with international best practices.

More than 1800 MT of Import cargo from the cargo terminals during the last weeks. The Airport is handling around 20-22 cargo flights per day (including non-scheduled operations), with freighters operating between various destinations like Doha, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Incheon, etc. In addition to the cargo flights, the Delhi Airport is also handling three-four chartered aircraft movements per day for handling medical equipment and relief material to and from various destinations like Patna, Varanasi, Guwahati, Nagpur, Vadodra, etc.

The distribution of essential cargo across India has been made possible through various freighter flights of Air India, SpiceJet and Indian Air Force Life Line, which have connected even to far flung areas of the North-East.

Published on April 23, 2020

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