Chandigarh airport to launch cargo facility on November 1
Six years after getting the international tag, the Chandigarh airport will finally offer the cargo facility from November 1.
Air cargo or air freight allows speedy transportation of commercial goods through an air carrier. At present, the Chandigarh International Airport Limited (CHAIL) only provides a common screening facility for domestic cargo, while the airlines — Air India, Indigo, Vistara and GoAir — are handling the goods on their own.
Being constructed at a cost of ₹11.5 crore, the air cargo complex is spread over 14,127 square metres. With five cargo sheds being built, it will handle both domestic and international cargo, including perishable goods.
It was on September 11, 2015, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the international airport. In February this year, the Punjab government finally announced the air cargo facility. Presenting the budget, finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal had said that the facility will give boost to the industry and provide better access to international and domestic markets.
Ajay Bhardwaj, chief executive officer, CHAIL, said: “Around 85% of the construction is done, and we are hopeful of completing the work by mid-October, and begin the facility from November 1. Some clearances are also awaited, and we are hopeful of get them from the authorities concerned in a couple of weeks.”
The complex has four cargo sheds constructed through Galvalume pre-painted self-supported roofing and one pre-fabricated shed for perishable cargo. It is equipped with the latest equipment — cold room, reefer van, fork lifts, scissors lift, pallets, user-friendly weighing scale and trolleys — and high-security apparatus — closed-circuit television camera, X-ray machines, door frame metal detectors and explosive trace detection system.
Yogesh Sagar, president, Mohali Industries Association, said: “It was the need of the hour. At present, we have to send our consignments by road to the Delhi airport, where they are lined up for 24 to 48 hours before being loaded on to the aircraft, which takes a week’s time. Now, the cargo facility here will save our time. It will also promote ease of business.”