Fueling the Covid Reboot Process in India

13 May 2021

Starting from 2020, the whole human kind has been faced with an unprecedented crisis that has brought the entire world to a standstill. But even though the situation got tough, what didn't stop was the continuous efforts of our frontline workers to contain the covid contagion. Right from initial movement of medical supplies to vaccine distribution across the country, GMR led Hyderabad International Airport and Delhi International Airport have constantly strived to support the nation in its fight against the pandemic.

Owing to their strategic location and consistent infrastructural developments, both Delhi and Hyderabad Airports have emerged as crucial hubspots in the Covid-19 relief supply chain. Their wide airline connectivity has been vital in ease of getting help from other countries and ensuring fair, broad and fast medical aid-distribution, especially to the far-fetched regions of India.


Further, the cold chain cargo facilities at both the airports have been significant in creating a sustainable, environment friendly storage for Covid-19 vaccines. These facilities have GDP certified temperature controlled zones with separate cool chambers ranging from -20 deg C to +25 deg C. There are Cool Dollies at airside for movement of temperature sensitive cargo to and from Terminals to the Aircrafts to ensure unbroken cool chain.

Following are several crucial milestones in our journey to fuel the covid reboot process in India:

Vaccine Logistics initiatives

To ensure swift distribution of imported relief materials, Delhi Airport has set up a 3,500 sq. meters of dedicated logistic facility, JEEVODAY warehouse, for interim storage and distribution of COVID-19 relief materials. The facility was commissioned in less than a day on April 28th, 2021. All the COVID-19 relief material are brought to JEEVODAY warehouse after Customs clearance, where they are sorted and further distributed to other parts of the country as per distribution plan.

The existing Pharma zone facility at GHAC is being expanded to almost double the area for handling increased movements of Vaccine and Pharma shipments. In addition to the above, it has also increased the capacities of all temperature zones viz. 15-25 degrees, 2-8 degrees and -20 degrees Celsius. 'Cold Super Store' is also introduced as part of the extended pharma zone to mitigate any temperature excursions during unloading of pharma shipments. It had launched a custom built large Cool Dolly, a Mobile Refrigerated Unit for airside transportation of large pallets till aircraft, maintaining the Cold-Chain.

Handling vital COVID related shipments

For the 1st time in India on 1st May 2021, GMR Hyderabad Air Cargo (GHAC) successfully handled the large import shipment of the Sputnik V vaccines from Russia, which required specialised handling and procedures to meet the stringent time and temperature (-20 deg. C) constraints. The handling of this critical shipment marked a major milestone for the country.

While, at Delhi Airport, the teams handled around 60 COVID relief flights totaling around 1,000 tonnes cargo, originating from various countries like the US, United Kingdom, UAE, Uzbekistan, Thailand, Germany, Qatar, Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Greece, Canada, Italy, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, Japan, Spain etc. (between 28 April and 10 May, 2021). Some of the relief flights were supported by Air Force aircrafts which included IL76, C-130, C-5, C-17 and world's biggest cargo aircraft AN-124. These flights are bringing in oxygen concentrators, oxygen cylinders, mobile oxygen plants, ventilators, masks, Remdesivir injections and other related medical aid, which are required in view of huge surge in COVID-19 cases in the country.


Technology & Partnerships

At the onset of 2021, GHAC has partnered with Dubai Airports for launch of "HYDXB-VAXCOR", a first of its kind of strategic initiative in the industry to address the unique logistical challenge of moving vaccines between Dubai and India through Hyderabad airport as a hub. This strategic partnership envisages several benefits and value added benefits such as priority handling, seamless movement, expanded uplift capacity through anchor carriers and high level of visibility for status/temperature data.

GHAC's e-Reception systems ensures hassle free entry and exit of the refrigerated trucks on the landside. For ensuring smooth last mile delivery, GHAC facilitates the movement of cargo to different parts of the country with its trucking partners who provide Road Feeder Service.

GHAC have also been gearing up towards Technology enhancements and recently partnered with Statwig for integration of Vaccine Ledger, a next-gen Block Chain solution to deliver enhanced Track and Trace solution and real-time monitoring of vaccine shipments from Hyderabad.