Ajit Singh
In an attempt to push its cargo handling capacity, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) will convert redundant passenger terminals at 24 airports into cargo terminals. The old terminal buildings will undergo modifications since the facility requires both city side and air side access, Civil Aviation Minister, Ajit Singh said adding that to develop cargo hubs, it is imperative to develop the regional airport and establish cargo terminals to provide connectivity with metros as the nodal agency has already set up cargo terminals in the southern region in Coimbatore, Tiruchi and now at Mangalore where new cargo terminal across the country will provide an added opportunity to exporters of perishable cargo. The terminal has 1,400 sq metres for international cargo and 1100 sq metres for domestic cargo.

The facility at Mangalore airport has an annual holding capacity of 5,000 tonnes for international import cargo, 13,000 tonnes for export cargo, 18,000 tonnes for domestic in-bound cargo and 21,000 tonnes for domestic out-bound cargo. The cargo complex at Mangalore will electronically be linked with a centralized cargo server at Kolkota. Initially, scheduled flights will carry air cargo in passenger aircraft and the other planned works at Mangalore airport include extension of runway. This will require additional 258 acres of land. He requested the Karnataka Government to provide land to AAI as the agency invested around Rs 250 crore for the development of Mangalore airport till now.