Mangalore; The Union Minister for Civil Aviation Ajit Singh inaugurated the air cargo complex of Mangalore International Airport on Monday which in itself an an important milestone in the growth trajectory of more than six decades old airport,and of Mangalore. The air cargo complex has been a long-felt need, frequently expressed by exporters and importers in Mangalore region.
Though the cargo complex at the airport here will be inaugurated on Monday the cargo handling will begin from next month. Deployment of Customs staff at the complex – spread over a floor area of 14,000 sq. ft. – and others arrangements for booking and delivery agents at the airport will take a few more days.
Describing the cargo complex’s capacity, Mr. Ajit Singh said that the complex’s Annual holding capacity was 5000 metric tonnes of International Import cargo, 13,000 metric tonnes of export cargo, 18,000 metric tonnes of domestic tin bound cargo and 21,000 metric tonnes of domestic outbound cargo. It can handle valuable and sensitive cargo and has standard storage facilities including cold storage, the Minister added. The total area covered by the cargo complex is 1400 sq. Mts.
The air cargo server is linked with the centralized cargo server at Kolkata, making it linked with cities of Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai apart from Kolkata. Apart from the cargo complex, Common User Terminal Equipment (CUTE) services were also inaugurated on the occasion.
Mr. Singh also spoke about the future plans for the airport saying that the runway will be extended by a further 3400 meters which will make the airport capable for a Boeing 747 landing. Estimating the total cost of the developmental projects, Mr. Singh said that 250 Crores were required out of which 100 crores were already sanctioned. He also said that 285 acres of land was required for the extension and said that it was to be provided by the state government. He also said that direct flights from mangalore to Dammam are also to commence soon.
Immediate past Director of the airport M.R.Vasudevan’s pivotal role in the development of the whole new terminal and the International flights was duly recognised with a affectionate felicitation.
Union Petroleum minister Mr. Veerappa Moily said that Mangalore has grown into a huge commercial center and the air cargo complex shall herald fury of growth & development of this city. He also recalled the days when he witnessed Indian prime Minister Mr. Jawahar Lal Nehru arrival to this airport when he was a child.
Jayaprakash Hegde, Member of Parliament, Oscar Fernandes, Rajya Sabha MP, MLAs Abhayachandra Jain and UT Khader, J T Radhakrishna, Director, Mangalore International Airport, and Ramanath Rai, District Congress President were present.