The air cargo terminal at the Tiruchi Airport has handled a record 4,773 tonnes of cargo in 2013-14, registering 63 per cent growth over the previous year.
While export cargo accounted for 4,715 tonnes, imports stood at a modest 58 tonnes. In 2012-13, the terminal had handled 2,920 tonnes.
The cargo terminal, commissioned in December 2011, is now ranked first among the non-metro airports managed by the Airports Authority of India, K. Jebaraj, Officiating Airport Director, said in a release.
He attributed the increase in cargo handling to the faster Customs clearance and unrestricted cargo acceptance without any time or holiday restrictions.
Assorted vegetables, flowers, fruits, fish, curd, garments, fabrics, leather, medicine and human hair constituted the bulk of export consignments.
Airline stores, household goods, and printed and electronic items were among the import cargo at the airport.
Singapore, Kuwait, Kuala Lumpur, Colombo, Doha, Male, Hong Kong, Sydney, and Melbourne were the major destinations for the cargo exported through the airport. The airport was getting Customs cleared export cargo through bonded trucking service from gateway airports such as Chennai and Bangalore.
The cargo terminal caters to freight traffic from Tiruchi, Thanjavur, Karur, Namakkal, Ariyalur, Perambalur, Madurai, Karaikal, Nagapattinam, Theni, Pudukottai, Tiruvarur. and Sivaganga districts.