Construction of cargo terminal commences at Srinagar Airport
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Construction of cargo terminal commences at Srinagar Airport

Move aimed to ease supply of goods, boost imports: Mathur

In a move that will help ease supply of goods to and from Kashmir, construction of a dedicated air cargo terminal at Srinagar Airport has kick-started recently.

The cargo terminal is being constructed in view of the greatdemand for supply of goods to and from Kashmir, Akash Deep Mathur, the directorof Srinagar Airport told Greater Kashmir. 

"The general cargo terminal under Common User Domestic CargoTerminal (CUDCT) is a project to be undertaken by Airports Authority of India.We have awarded the project to a contractor after proper tendering and theterminal building is expected to be ready in next 15 months," Mathur said.

After land identification and demarking for the CUDCT wasconducted last year at the Srinagar Airport, its construction has started now,he added. Construction of cargo terminal will also provide boost to exports ofcommodities and perishables from the valley.

"The general cargo terminal project is expected to becarried out at a cost of more than Rs 5 crore. We hope that the externalfactors are favourable for us to witness the completion of cargo terminal ontime," Mathur said.

The work on the general cargo terminal is proposed to beundertaken for next 15 months till July 2020.

"Currently approximately 25 meteric tonnes of cargo isprocessed from Srinagar on a daily basis. A positive growth is seen in thecargo operations and the new terminal buildings will be able to handle theexpected doubling of tonnage in next one decade," Mathur said.

Mathur said the general cargo terminal will have latest andstate-of-the-art facilities. "Facilities such as a truck dock area, acceptance,delivery, storage and a holding area are also part of this project," Mathursaid.

A dedicated space for offices for airlines and AAI will alsobe kept at the CUDCT.

"A canopy will be put in place on city side and air side forin bound and out bound cargo. There would also be a notified car and truckparking area," Mathur said. "A tubular structure for trusses along with digitalISDN and IP exchange will enhance the process of cargo operations at theproposed terminal. X-ray machine, computer motor driven weighing machines,forklift and trolleys will make process of cargo operations easier."

Construction work on the cargo terminal has come at a timewhen recently a freighter or a goods carrier aircraft owned by private airlineSpiceJet arrived at the Srinagar Airport with 17 tonnes of cargo from Delhi."The test run of SpiceXpress freighter will pave way for freighter business inJ&K region," said a recent tweet from AAI Cargo Logistics and AlliedServices, a subsidiary of AAI. 

Srinagar airport is under direct operational control of theIndian Air Force (IAF), which controls its air traffic and landing strip andalso the facilities of fire-fighting and crash activities, apart from theairspace. Srinagar is the busiest among the three airports in Jammu and Kashmiras the airport witnessed 22.8 lakh passengers footfalls during 2017, whilenumber of passengers who travelled to or from the airport in 2018 was 26.9lakhs.

However, the ranking of Srinagar Airport for passengerservices has been recently downgraded to 61st spot.

According to the ratings conducted for 20 airports, in 2million to 15 million passengers' category, Srinagar airport received 4.68points in 2018, compared to 4.78 in 2017.

The 2018 ratings of airports were announced recently and theparameters which were assessed included ground transportation to/from airport,parking facilities, waiting-time, check-in, queues, efficiency of check-instaff, courtesy and helpfulness of check-in staff availability of toilets andothers.

The Srinagar airport has recorded slide in all 33 parametersreviewed by the ACI.

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