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Sophisticated cargo screening centre to become operational by March

R. Sairam
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Facilitates screening of all domestic outbound cargo at one location

A state-of-the-art cargo screening centre for domestic airlines that is coming up at the Coimbatore Airport is likely to become operational by the end of March.

Once commissioned, it would become mandatory for all domestic cargo going out from here to pass through this centre being set up by the Airports Authority of India (AAI). At present, some airlines were conducting the screening process themselves.

Official sources told The Hindu , here on Friday, that this project was taken up pursuant to a circular issued by the AAI head office in 2010 to the effect that all domestic airlines must necessarily use the AAI’s cargo screening centre if the airport was equipped with one.

The construction of the screening centre in Coimbatore was completed on November last and would be commissioned after the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) issued a ‘no-objection certificate.’ This centre would facilitate the screening of all domestic outbound cargo at one location, which would both streamline the process and enhance the security.

An independent department coming under the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation, the BCAS was the regulatory authority for civil aviation security which set the security standards for civil flights at international and domestic airports.

Increased revenue

It would also significantly increase the revenue stream to the AAI as the Coimbatore Airport was set for a major expansion with the construction of a new Rs. 800 crore integrated terminal after which the air traffic to this region was expected to increase considerably.

At present, the Coimbatore Airport witnessed outbound cargo of 300 tonnes per month with the arrival being 350 tonnes.

The sources said that this centre would also enable the private airlines to cut down their operating expenditure as they could utilise the space and money going to their own screening centres for other purposes.

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