AAI to take up modification work and develop other facilities like sterile area

Here’s good news for air cargo exporters from the city. The long-pending conversion of the old airport terminal building into an Integrated Cargo Complex is expected to be completed by December, this year.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) will take up modification work and develop other facilities like sterile area at an estimated cost of about Rs.1 crore, according to D. Devaraj, Regional Executive Director (SR), AAI, Chennai.

The Regional ED was here to participate at the valedictory of the five-day All India Public Sector Units Chess Tournament, which concluded here on Tuesday.

Funds sanctioned

The cargo complex plan has already been approved and funds have been sanctioned. Modification of the existing building and basic amenities like sterile area and docking area for trucks are expected to be completed by December-end.

“Automatic Storage and Retrieval Systems, mechanised transportation of cargo and cold storages would be developed in a phased manner, based on the demand,” Mr. Devaraj told The Hindu in an informal chat, at the airport here on Wednesday. The AAI would also procure the X-Ray machine for screening of cargo.

On Visakhapatnam Airport securing the ‘Best Airport’ award in the ‘Rest of India’ category, Mr. Devaraj said that it was an indication of the standards maintained at the airport.

He said that one more aerobridge was planned at the airport. When his attention was brought to complaints of shortage of baggage scanners and delays in security check-in, particularly during the peak hours, he felt that such delays were inevitable in view of the growth in passengers. He, however, said that efforts would be made to reduce the delays through re-organisation and proper planning.

Airport Director K. Srinivasa Rao said that a separate terminal for domestic arrivals with three bays was being planned at the airport.

He attributed the delays in security checks as the integrated new terminal building was originally designed to handle five lakh passengers but now the number of passengers has doubled.

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