AAI to strengthen perimeter road

S. Anil Radhakrishnan

For smooth transfer of cargo to new terminal complex

‘Paucity of funds not a problem’

Tharoor receives Airport Director’s assurance on road

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is to widen and strengthen the perimeter road from the air-cargo complex to the tarmac of the new Rs.245.58-crore terminal complex that has come up on the Chakka side to facilitate the smooth transport of cargo.

A top official of the AAI said steps had been taken to widen and strengthen the perimeter road using the AAI funds. The paucity of funds was not a problem and procedures such as getting the approval had begun.

“The widened and strengthened perimeter road that runs close to the boundary wall of the airport will be ready and available for transporting export and import cargo when the world class terminal complex is commissioned,” he said.

The apprehensions raised by some quarters over the fate of export of perishables from the capital city on account of the lack of direct access from the cargo complex to the tarmac of the new terminal complex was not true, he said. “In fact, we have multi access from the air cargo complex, managed and operated by the State-owned Kerala State Industrial Enterprises (KSIE), to the tarmac,” he added.

The Agricultural Products and Processed Foods Exporters Association (APPEXA) had petitioned Union Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor on the issue.

Association secretary Dil Koshy said Mr. Tharoor had informed that the Airport Director had assured him that the perimeter road would be prepared and be ready on the day the new apron was commissioned.

Airport sources said the AAI had agreed to strengthen the perimeter road at a meeting convened by the Industries Principal Secretary last year.

It has been pointed out that it is the duty of the airlines concerned to shift the customs-cleared export loaded in containers, pallets and trolleys to the tarmac for loading on to aircraft. The same is the procedure for transporting incoming baggage/import cargo that arrives on various aircraft at the airport to the cargo complex.

Sources said the customs-cleared export cargo, incoming baggage and import cargo could be moved through the public road only with the approval of the Customs.

In that case, the cargo would have to be transported as bonded cargo and in locking containers with the seal of the Customs Inspector and under the escort of the Customs personnel. The clearance of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security would also be needed.

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