Delhi Airport has remained in the forefront, proactively working with the Government of India and other stakeholders in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, during the two- month long lockdown when airport was closed for commercial operations, Delhi Airport’s cargo facility was operational, successfully handling distribution of relief materials by participating in Government’s initiatives of “Lifeline Udaan” and “Krishi Udaan”.
During the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic this year, Delhi Airport so far has successfully handled 100 COVID-19 relief flights which brought in aid from over 36 countries. Between April 27, 2021 and May 25, 2021, Delhi Airport handled 1,750 Metric Tonnes of relief material that arrived from several countries such as the US, UK, Canada, Ireland, Germany, France, Austria, Belgium, Russia, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Denmark, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Australia, Czech Republic, Romania, Singapore, Mauritius, Hong Kong, Japan, Uzbekistan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Oman, Doha, Kazakhstan, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Taiwan, Kuwait and UAE (Dubai).
During this period, Delhi Airport successfully handled some of the largest military and commercial aircrafts, which include Antonov-124, C-130 Globemasters, C-5, C-17, and IL-76 among other freighters. These planes brought in consignments of various relief material such as Oxygen generating plants, Oxygen Generators, Oxygen Concentrators, Oxygen Cylinder, Oxygen therapy, Masks, Ventilators, Remdesivir injection, Patient beds, and medicines like Veklury/Toclizumab etc.
With the handling of 100th relief flights, Delhi Airport – India’s largest hub airport for handling and distribution of COVID-19 related aid – recorded the highest movements of Covid relief aid among all Indian airports, at a time when India was in need for medical equipment, oxygen, injections etc. Delhi Airport is the largest Cargo Hub Airport of South Asia region, with two integrated Cargo Terminals having annual cargo handling capacity of 1.8 million MT which is scalable to 2.3 million MT.
During the second wave of the pandemic, Delhi Airport ensured efficient and swift handling of medical aid being received from across the world, with active support from its stakeholders. For this, Delhi Airport has set up a 3,500 sq. meters of dedicated interim storage and logistic facility, JEEVODAY warehouse. Besides, 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.
“Delhi Airport has been proactively working as a frontline warrior in fight against COVID-19 pandemic. During the second wave, we continued to work with the Government of India and other stakeholders to ensure swift handling of COVID-19 medical aid received from various countries. Handling of 100 Covid relief flights in less than a month has been possible due to the Airport’s largest cargo network in the country with different parts of the world and the airport’s state of the art cargo handling facilities. The airport plays a critical role as a transshipment hub to connect under-served countries/ regions to rest of the world. Our teams are working 24×7 to provide uninterrupted services and ensure consignments are processed and cleared in the least possible time,” said Mr. Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, CEO-DIAL.
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 by GOI Agency M/s. HLL as per distribution plan. Distribution is done immediately after it is brought to the warehouse. The relief materials were received by Indian Red Cross Society at Delhi.Delhi Airport has also ensured that relief flights get priority in landing with parking at Cargo bays near the Cargo terminals to make sure that consignments are processed and cleared in the least possible time after landing of aircraft. Dedicated teams from Cargo Terminal Operators, clearing agency, distribution warehouse centre have been assigned to ensure that the entire process of handling of such relief aid materials is done quickly.