In May last year, hundreds of trucks loaded with cargo could have been seen lined up outside the Delhi airport’s cargo terminal even as exporters lost crores daily due to huge delays.Sights like these, which were an annual feature outside the 26-year-old small terminal, will soon be a thing of past.
The airport now has a brand new cargo terminal, which would double the airport’s cargo handling capacity. The new terminal, spread over 70,000 square metres, is divided into two plots and the Phase I of the terminal was launched recently.
The existing cargo terminal was commissioned in 1986 for the processing of import, export and unaccompanied baggage. This terminal can handle 1 million metric tonnes (MT) of cargo annually and when the new terminal is fully functional, the airport’s cargo handling capacity will double. The new terminal, which had a ‘soft launch’ recently, already has capacity of 6 lakh MT annually in Phase I.
“After becoming the largest airport in India in terms of both passengers and aircraft movements, we aim to turn Delhi Airport into the international cargo hub of India,” said I Prabhakara Rao, CEO of the private airport operator Delhi International Airport Ltd. (DIAL). “Modern technology like barcodes in cargo handling has reduced handling, clearance and processing time besides ensuring accuracy and better efficiency,” he said.
The new terminal will be operated by concessionaire Delhi Cargo Service Centre.