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India: International cargo terminal at Madurai airport to become operational by Dec 15

The international cargo terminal at Madurai airport is expected to become operational from December 15.

Coming as it does almost seven years after the airport was declared customs airport by the Union Finance Ministry in December 2010, the commencement of international cargo handling at Madurai airport after all these years "will be a boon to the region", S Rethinavelu, Senior President, Tamilnadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Madurai, said.

"We at the Chamber have been persistently following up with the government to permit exim cargo handling as there is abundant scope for cargo export from this region. Sizeable quantities of vegetables, flowers, fruits, textiles/made ups, handloom products, engineering goods, medical equipment, granite icons and other products are exported regularly from the southern districts of Madurai, Dindigul, Sivagangai, Ramanathapuram, Theni, Virudhunagar, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari through other airports.

"The monthly volumes is around 150 to 200 tonnes. Since the facility will henceforth be available from the airport here, the volumes could go up sizeably..

"We hope the Union Ministry of Agriculture will expedite the appointment of Plant Quarantine officials at Madurai Cargo Airport to certify perishable goods for export," he said and stressed the need for inclusion of Madurai International Airport in the Bilateral Air service Agreement (BASA) to give a further boost to the region.


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