Covid-19: Mumbai airport gears up to transport, manage vaccine
With various pharmaceutical companies working out ways to procure Covid-19 vaccine, Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) is set to deploy a dedicated task force to facilitate advance planning and collaboration between the airport and all the stakeholders (airline customers, supply chain partners, regulatory and governmental bodies, vaccine distributors).
Along with stringent security arrangements, the task force is set to manage the required temperature, reduce dwell time with prior special approvals from regulators. It will also create a cold chain for vaccine movement from the manufacturing facility to the end distributor.
Mumbai airport will also see a round-the-clock customer service cell dedicated to Covid-19 vaccine export-import (EXIM) consignments in order to address customer queries, pre-alerts and status updates.
CSMIA spokesperson said in addition to the existing infrastructure and developments at the airport, flexible slots for ad hoc charter operations will also play an important role in seamless facilitation of storage and transportation of the vaccine.
As the country’s largest airport gateway for pharmaceutical EXIM movements, the existing infrastructure at CSMIA offers a continuous temperature controlled movement and processing of pharmaceutical goods through the airport, which will be vital for the storage and transportation of the vaccine.
CSMIA spokesperson said the airport has state-of-the-art facilities, such as Asia’s largest temperature controlled export pharmaceutical excellence centre with an annual handling capacity of 350,000 tonnes.
“Spread over an area of 4,000sqm, this facility has a total of 140 unit load device (ULD) storage positions and 50 power outlets for charging active containers. Additionally, the airport will also host six dedicated truck docks for round the clock cargo acceptance and quick turnaround of trucks, two release gates for ULD exit, two X-ray machines, six cold chambers offering 2-8 degrees storage for 12 main deck ULD’s, CCTV surveillance and electronically monitored temperature management system with alarm alerts and power backup,” said the spokesperson.