Kerala Exporters’ Forum has proposed to convert the Calicut Airport into an international courier terminal.
Munshid Ali, secretary of the Forum said at present expatriates, especially the labour class, in and around Kozhikode are depending on Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Cochin airports to send couriers. Identifying as an international courier terminal will bring big courier firms such as Aramex, DHL, and FedEx to open their office. This would create more duty for Customs, revenue to the cargo complex, and job opportunities.
A representation to this effect has been made by the Forum at a meeting of the Airport Advisory Council.
The Forum also reiterated their demand to set up cooling facilities for perishable cargo. There are instances of offloading of cargo by airlines, citing space crunch in aircraft. This is badly affecting the exporter’s goodwill among overseas buyers and such a situation is leading to diverting export orders to other countries such as the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand etc., he said adding that exporters are forced to sell the offloaded cargo in the local market at reduced prices.
Kerala has four major international airports which together could export 13,950 tonnes. Of this, Calicut could load 4,850 tonnes. However, space constraints, lack of testing facilities, narrow aircraft, etc. are making exports unviable from the airport. The Forum recommended opening proper testing centres, an Export Inspection Agency, and an FSSAI lab at Kozhikode for a hassle-free movement of export cargo from the airport.