First flight to take off on May 1
The cargo complex at Mangalore International Airport will start functioning on May 1; however, no order is lined up yet.
There are enquiries on sending cargo from Mangalore International Air Cargo Complex in Bajpe, but they have not translated into bookings, said representatives of two airlines.
This emerged at an interactive meeting among representatives of Customs, the airport, airlines and air cargo exporters and importers at the office of the Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), here on Tuesday.
Melwin D’Souza, Station Manager – Mangalore, Air India, said that most enquiries were about perishables (vegetables and fruits). The airline has flights from Mangalore to destinations in West Asia. The flights go to Muscat, Bahrain, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Dammam and Dubai (twice a day). Cargo is expected to be sent from Kozhikode and Dakshina Kannada, he said.
He did not say how much cargo is going from Mangalore because no businessperson had made any commitment to send cargo.
V. Sreenivas Phani, Assistant Commissioner of Customs, Mangalore, announced that cargo complex will start functioning on May 1. The cargo complex will handle dangerous, valuable, perishable and normal goods.
J.T. Radhakrishna, Custodian, Mangalore International Air Cargo Complex and Airport Director, Airports Authority of India, Mangalore International Airport, said the movement of marine cargo would begin once the cold storage facility was ready.
He said space for cargo of 1.5 tonnes to 2 tonnes was assured. The flights carry passengers and residual space was given to cargo at present.
Industry has sought a facility that will allow documentation work related to cargo to be done at the complex itself instead of at the Customs House.
Mohammed Ameen, president, KCCI, said he would take up the issue with the Customs for a desk there.