Hyderabad: The Delhi airport has been at forefront in the fight against COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. The Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), a GMR Group-led consortium, has now emerged as the central airport in the country, handling and distribution of COVID-19 related aid including vaccines, oxygen concentrators, medical equipment and other medicines being sent from several countries around the world.
In a span of just five days – from 28 April to 2 May - the Delhi airport has handled around 25 COVID relief flights totalling around 300 tonnes cargo from various countries like the US, United Kingdom, UAE, Uzbekistan, Thailand, Germany, Qatar, Hong Kong, China and so on.
By working closely with the Government of India and other stakeholders, the Delhi airport is contributing to India's ongoing fight against the second wave of the pandemic by ensuring efficient and swift handling and distribution of medical aid being received from across the world.
To ensure swift distribution of imported relief materials, the airport has set up a 3,500 sq. meters of dedicated logistic facility called the Jeevoday warehouse for the interim storage and distribution of COVID-19 relief materials. The facility was commissioned in less than a day on 28 April. All the COVID-19 relief material are brought to the Jeevoday warehouse after customs clearance where they are sorted and further distributed to parts of the country by the GOI agency HLL, as per the distribution plan. The distribution is done immediately after it is brought to the warehouse.
Most of the relief flights were supported by Air Force aircraft which included IL76, C-130, C-5, C-17. These flights brought in over 5,500 oxygen concentrators, around 3,200 oxygen cylinders, over 9,28,000 masks, 1,36,000 Remdesivir injections, which are required in view of huge surge in COVID-19 cases in the country. The handling and distribution of the medical aid is continuing in an efficient manner with the support of all stakeholders.
The Delhi airport has also ensured priority in landing is given to flights carrying COVID relief aid, and such aircrafts get parking at cargo bays near the cargo terminals, just like the aircraft bringing vaccine consignments are handled on priority, to make sure that consignments are processed and cleared in the least possible time after landing.
The Delhi airport is the largest cargo hub airport in the 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.