Airports Up The Game For Vaccines
Cruising Heights|April - May 2021
SOPs charted out and implemented by the airports’ cargo division for vaccine transportation from acceptance of the vaccines to dispatch at the ramp saw average processing time of only 10 minutes for domestic delivery and 25 minutes for international shipments. A report from TIRTHANKAR GHOSH.
Tirthankar Ghosh

Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) has been at the forefront of the transportation of vaccines. The airport had facilitated towards the end of February, the distribution of approximately 43 million doses of vaccines catering to 8.5 million doses in India and 34.5 million doses across the globe. The SOPs that the airport has fashioned out and implemented for the vaccine distribution saw the terminal register an average cargo processing time of just 10 minutes for domestic delivery and 25 minutes for international, right from acceptance of the vaccines to dispatch at the ramp.

As a pharma hub, Mumbai airport is a veteran in transporting vaccines across the world. The airport’s dedicated COVIDtask force reduces dwell time and facilitates advanced planning and collaboration between the airport and all stakeholders in this process - the airline customers, supply chain partners, regulatory and governmental bodies, and vaccine distributors. It has also initiated a full-time 24x7 Customer Service Cell for COVID-19 vaccine EXIM consignments, in order to address customer queries, pre-alerts, and status updates.

Handling the vaccines is the Cargo Service Center’s (CSC) job. Along with Mumbai, CSC operates cargo terminals at Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, and Kannur. Tushar Jani, Group Chairman pointed out that “as far CSC and Mumbai airport are concerned, we are already the biggest vaccine temperature-controlled air cargo handler in India. Our infrastructure was ready in early 20s and with enhanced capacity and use of new technology for CSC and Mumbai airport, it was a smooth process to accept this challenge. I’m happy to state that we at CSC at Mumbai airport are the biggest vaccine air cargo handler in the country”.

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