The Airports Authority of India to go ahead with cargo terminal plan in Thiruvananthapuram.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) plans to go ahead with the roadmap prepared to consolidate handling of air cargo at Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, despite the selected concessionaire all set to operate, manage and develop the airport till 2069.

The AAI is going ahead with the roadmap to handle international cargo and courier international cargo (unaccompanied baggage) from here. AAI’s 100% subsidiary, the AAI Cargo and Logistics Allied Services (AAICLAS), will take care of the international cargo.

A high-level team from the AAI, AAICLAS, Customs and the president of the Thiruvananthapuram Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently inspected the old domestic terminal that has been identified for handling the international cargo.

The Customs has in principle agreed to give the role of the custodian to the AAICLAS once the infrastructure and other issues cited by it were resolved, AAI sources told The Hindu. Since September 2018, the AAI has Common User Domestic Cargo Terminal (CUDCT), a facility to take care of domestic cargo, in the old domestic terminal as part of the roadmap.

AAI sources said drawings were ready for a ₹100 crore cargo terminal near the old domestic terminal to handle all cargo under one roof with world-class facilities and in view of the upcoming international deepwater seaport at Vizhinjam. The proposal is to demolish the old terminal and construct the cargo terminal. The AAI has assessed that there is potential to generate ₹60 crore revenue annually from cargo alone and to develop the airport as a gateway for cargo to the Middle East.

At present, 98% of export taking place daily from here is perishable goods. Infrastructure facilities have not been upgraded commensurate with the 20-30% growth in export trade.

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