Handling CARGO, The lifeline of nation during COVID pandemic

"When the going gets tough, the tough get going" this was the motto of cargo teams at GMR airports during pandemic times. Despite the strict lock-down and several logistical issues during these unprecedented times, our team rose to the occasion in line with the nation's call and continued to seamlessly handle the cargo operations. And as the world-wide trials of vaccine to fight Covid-19 are on full throttle, the cargo facilities of GMR Airports, especially in Delhi and Hyderabad are ready to provide the necessary infrastructure for unbroken cool-chain of the global vaccine shipments to maintain the vaccine integrity.

Delhi Airport has two cargo terminals with world-class infrastructure that provide GDP certified temperature-controlled facility for handling temperature-sensitive cargo. Apart from having state-of-the-art temperature-controlled zones with separate cool chambers ranging from +25°C to -20°C, both Delhi & Hyderabad airports are equipped with Cool Dolly system to provide an unbroken cold chain facility to time and temperature sensitive pharma shipments within the temperature range of +2°C to +8°C and +15°C to +25°C. This Cool Dolly acts as a temporary storage area for moving temperature sensitive cargo from air cargo terminal to the aircraft. These state of the art facilities would be extremely conducive for distribution of COVID 19 vaccines.


Covid-19 vaccine handling capabilities

Delhi Airport - Being the nation's largest Cargo Hub Airport of South Asia region, Delhi Airport has two integrated Cargo Terminals with annual cargo handling capacity of 1.8 million MT which is scalable to 2.3 million MT. The temperature controlled cargo facilities at Delhi Airport are GDP certified and have a capacity to handle over 1.5 lakh MT of temperature sensitive cargo per annum.

In terms of airside infrastructure, Delhi Airport is the first and only airport in the country to have 12 Nos. of dedicated Freighter parking bays, providing ample capacity for the Airlines to move cargo to and from the Airport. In fact, cargo apron is capable to do three Nose Load operations seamlessly at single point of time. There are Cool Dollies at airside for movement of temperature sensitive cargo to and from Terminals to the Aircrafts to ensure unbroken cool chain.

In line with MoCA vision to create metro airports as Transshipment hubs, Delhi Airport has set up a dedicated 'Transshipment Excellence Centre' spread over an area of 6,500 sqm at the Airside for convenient and efficient movement of Transshipment cargo. This facility will help fast movement of Vaccines through Transshipment.

Delhi Airport is also advance in using technology for fast movement of vaccines from the airport. Delhi airport has been first to launch the India's first 'QR code based e-Gate Pass facility' for delivery of Import cargo, thereby making paper documentation process automated and also reducing human interface.


Hyderabad Airport - The Pharma zone of GMR Hyderabad Air Cargo (GHAC) is a WHO-GSDP (World Health Organization - Good Storage and Distribution Practices) certified facility providing end-to-end unbroken cool-chain for pharmaceutical and vaccine shipments. As the vaccines are highly sensitive shipments, GHAC will leverage its efficiency in handling Pharma from last 12 years of operations to maintain unbroken cool- chain. The terminal offers one of India's largest fleet of the modern temp-controlled Cool Containers viz. Envirotainer, VaQtec, etc.

The terminal has a large sized Dual view tunnel X-ray Screening Machine to maintain the integrity of vaccines cool containers while screening. Critical processes like - acceptance, weighing, customs examination, screening, palletization and transportation to aircraft are also performed under temperature-controlled conditions.

Other highlights

The growth in air cargo over the last few months has been gradual indicating a sustainable trend. With calibrated unlocking, and Government's focus on Atma Nirbhar Bharat (Self Reliant India), industries are getting back on foot. With the restart of industries, logistics demand is also showing uptick.

  • Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport and Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Airport have been categorized as two of the 6 national hubs under Government of India's 'Lifeline Udan' initiative for operating medical cargo lifelines for the nation in this hour of crisis.
  • Ever since the lockdown came into force, over 20 lakh pieces of Face masks, 2 Lakh bottles of Sanitizers, 70,000 Body suits, 1.5 lakh PPE Kits and 50,000 other medical equipment have been channelized across India through Delhi Airport whereas during the lockdown period Hyderabad International Airport has handled around 16,000 metric tons of air cargo.