Pune: The much awaited international cargo facility at Pune international airport will take more time to be operational, as the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has not given a clearance for operation of cargo to customs officials.
Sources from the customs at the airport told Sakal Times that the clearance and notification from the BCAS for starting the export of international cargo from the airport were expected, but it's taking time.
"As far as the domestic cargo or freight movement is concerned, it is handled by the officials of the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
International cargo operation will be handled by the customs and we are expecting clearance from BCAS for the past few months, but we are still waiting to start by this month end or early next month," an official said.
An official team of BCAS has visited Pune airport and met the airport authority to discuss the issue. A senior official of BCAS said that the team will visit soon to inspect the arrangement at Pune airport.
"It is not easy to start a cargo facility at any airport. The team has already visited in January this year. We will visit again and will inspect the place and arrangements," said a senior officer of BCAS.
Dhairyashil Vandekar, an aviation expert and analyst, said, "Pune is a hub of international and domestic cargo originating out of western Maharashtra and deserved to have its own full-fledged international cargo complex long back. There is a heavy cargo movement originating from Pune, comprising mainly aerospace and defence, automotive, chemicals, consumer durables, electronic and electrical, FMCG, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, etc. It is said that of the total cargo moving out of Mumbai airport, almost 30-40 per cent is from Pune."
"Such a long pending important demand of the Pune industry is understood to have not been touched upon by the Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha, as he did not give any assurance in this regard during his visit to Pune Airport a few days ago," he added.
The spot located towards the extreme right side of the pre-paid taxi booth has been selected for creation of international cargo export facility. The spot is being developed infrastructure-wise so that the incoming cargo can be properly stored and transported. In January, a team of officials from BCAS visited Pune and met AAI officials. The team had suggested that the airport begin international cargo operation soon. Clearance in this regard has been already been given by the customs.