Perishables centre inaugurated in Bengaluru

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Air India SATS Airport Services (AISATS) has launched AISATS COOLPORT at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru.

The facility is India’s 1st integrated on-airport perishable cargo handling centre and covers 11,000 square metres and cost INR 48 crores ($7.8 million) and was inaugurated by the Government of Karnataka’s minister for large and medium industries and infrastructure development, Sri. R.V. Deshpande.

AISATS COOLPORT aims to meet the extensive handling requirements of perishable cargo products such as pharmaceuticals, fruits, vegetables, flowers, meat and seafood.

The facility has the capability to handle 40,000 tonnes per annum and through end-to-end cold chain solutions including refrigerated trucking service, indigenously developed cool trolley and thermal blanket, as well as temperature controlled container handling.

Trial operations took place from October 2016 through to January 2017, and saw a 27 per cent growth in perishable tonnage in comparison to the same period last year. During the tenure of the trial operations, 4,653 tonnes (import and export) of varied temperature sensitive and perishable cargo was handled by the AISATS COOLPORT.

AISATS COOLPORT recently obtained its Good Distribution Practices (GDP) certification for receiving, handling, storage and dispatch of pharmaceutical and perishable cargo as per World Health Organization (WHO) standards.

AISATS also aims to achieve HACCP and IATA CEIV certifications in the near future, which it says will promote better trade facilitation and enhance the state of Karnataka’s position as pharmaceutical and perishable hub of India.

AISATS chief executive officer, Mike Chew says: “As India aims to become the world’s third largest aviation market by 2020, we believe that the cargo industry will play a crucial role in achieving this objective.

“India has aptly demonstrated the potential to maintain an upward growth trajectory year on year, despite a global slowdown. However, there is an immediate need to develop adequate infrastructure to boost the growth of the air cargo industry.

“We aim to be the engine of economic growth for the region by connecting Bengaluru to the world and positioning the city as the Gateway to South India not only for passenger traffic but also for cargo. BIAL has a robust plan and strategic intent to grow the cargo business.

“Our aim is to create an environment that enables our cargo partners to introduce new initiatives and facilities that cater to the burgeoning cargo demand of this region. We firmly believe new logistics that redefine the cargo business will propel us closer to our vision of being the Cargo Hub of South India and the region.”