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            september 22, 2019

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East coast India Visakhapatmam hopes to open air cargo terminal in April


Visakhapatmam, popularly known as Vizag, is a port city midway up the east coast of India that will have an international air cargo terminal next April if all goes according to plan, reports the Times of India.
Vizag is today directly air-linked to Dubai and is expected to be connected to Singapore by October, first with passengers and then with facilities to handle perishable exports, mostly marine products.
Today, Vizag (pop 1.7 million) handles 2,546 tonnes of cargo compared to the 3.7 million tonnes handled by Chennai (pop 8.9 million), the 79,046 tonnes by Hyderabad (pop 7.7 million) and the 2.2 million tonnes from Bangalore (pop 8.4 million) in 2011.
Visakhapatnam is also the base of pharmaceutical industries and diamond cutting. Aqua culture exports are limited to expensive or highly perishable products, such as diamonds, pharmaceutical products and shrimp feed.
Vizag airport director Srinivasa Rao said a few modifications were needed at the old passenger terminal band, but once approved by customs and the Airports Authority of India, the terminal could be ready by December and up and running by April.
Assistant director of Vizag's marine product export development VV Raju said a full-fledged air cargo terminal would help in the export of fish, especially to the Middle East. He pointed out that as on today 99 per cent of the marine exports amounting to 60,000 tonnes were shipped by ocean freight.
YGK Murthy, president of Federation of Indian Fisheries Industry, said an air cargo terminal linked to Singapore and Colombo could earn INR1 billion (US$17.9 million) a year exporting 2,500 tonnes of grade A Lion Tuna which has big markets in the east, especially Japan and in Europe.

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