For examination and certification of export material
Airports Authority of India is gearing up to open a plant quarantine facility at the Coimbatore Airport within the next ten days. The facility would help in speedy examination of the export material and issue a certification.
Whenever a perishable item or a flora is exported, it would have to be subjected to examination for presence of parasites, fungus and other virus to prevent communicable diseases. Only when certified by the plant quarantine facility, the importing countries accept such assignments, airport sources said.
Coimbatore accounted for export of vegetables from Coimbatore, the Nilgiris, Dindigul besides roses from Hosur, other varieties of flowers from Dindigul and Madurai. On average 30 tonnes are being exported every month from Coimbatore to destinations in Middle East and Singapore.
At present, Coimbatore Airport on an average handled 280 tonnes of cargo export (all items put together) and the import was 11 tonnes.
The export quantity is likely to witness a fall this month owing to power supply related problems and is likely to close to 150 to 180 tonnes maximum.
Airport Director K. Peter Abraham said that in the existing airport cargo unit, 700 sq ft has been assigned for the plant quarantine facility and officials have been posted for the same.
Officials pointed out that on an average there are seven flights a week to Sharjah and Singapore. There could be an export of 2 to 2.5 tonnes per day based on the carrying capacity of the aircraft used by the airliner operating services to Middle East and Singapore.
This would translate into an average export of perishable commodities to an extent of 60 tonnes per month as against the present 30 tonnes per month, thus giving a fillip.