Now, planes will fly medical equipment, essential drugs

G Naga Sridhar Hyderabad | Updated on April 02, 2020 Published on April 02, 2020

A special permission has been accorded by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to conduct cargo operations using passenger category aircraft during Covid19 lock down period.   -  Volodymyr Kryshtal

The passenger aircraft will now turn into cargo flights to improve supply of medical equipment and essential drugs.

A special permission has been accorded by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to conduct cargo operations using passenger category aircraft during Covid19 lock down period.

“With the Covid-19 outbreak and the subsequent lockdown in the country, there is a demand for cargo operations for transporting medical equipment...”, the DGCA said in its Airworthiness Advisory Circular dated April 1.

The DGCA had received requests from scheduled and non-scheduled operators for allowing cargo operations using the existing passenger category aircraft.

“This not only helps easing the troubles for pharma exporters but also improves domestic movements of medical equipment and drugs within the country,” R Uday Bhaskar, Director-General, Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil), told BusinessLine on Thursday. Pharmexcil has also advised all drug-makers to make use of the facility to tide over disruption to logistics due to lock down.

The cargo will be permitted with configuration change of aircraft in the approved stowage locations within the passenger compartment, such as closets, overhead stowage bins within the load limitations.

The move assumes significance in the wake of many states reporting shortage of medical equipment and essential drugs and blockades impacting on-road movement of cargo.

A functionary of Hyderabad-based major pharma company said the domestic market is witnessing fast depletion of stock of many medicines and equipment and the special permission from DGCA was ‘timely’.

Published on April 02, 2020

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