Pune Airport’s new cargo hub is awaiting approval to start operations

Not a single ton of cargo has been exported from Pune Airport in the last seven months. This delay in launching the integrated cargo terminal has caused frustration among small traders and in the logistics industry.

Sources at the airport said while the new facility is complete it is awaiting approval from the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), which would authorize the operation of such facilities at each airport. “A team of BCAS staff visited the facility earlier this week.

They seemed happy with the arrangements. However, you must give us official approval to start operations in the new facility. Our job is done. Now it’s up to the BCAS,” an airport official said.

Sources said that the BCAS team estimates approval to start cargo service from the new terminal is expected in the second week of July. “They didn’t ask us to make any other changes.

We are confident of receiving approval soon,” the official added.

Domestic cargo imports and exports as well as international cargo exports were halted by the BCAS in January 2023 due to certain regulatory and infrastructural issues in the existing cargo handling area. Later, some airlines such as SpiceJet and IndiGo were allowed to carry domestic cargo.

A permit for international cargo exports was not granted. “Big exporters somehow managed to transport their cargo via Mumbai. However, the smaller retailers are suffering. We hope that the new facility will be operational soon,” said Tushar Sutar, the joint secretary of
Integrated Exim Club.

“Either the work is progressing very slowly, or the airport authorities are not pushing for the construction of the new facility. We can also use the facility for the export of goods on two international flights, since Pune Airport has a transhipment facility.

However, we haven’t been able to transport any cargo for more than half a year,” said one exporter.

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