1. The Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru processed 411,513 metric tonnes (MT) of cargo as on 2021, the highest till now. I am sure there have been a lot of strategies and hard work behind it. Can you please tell us something about the journey?
Airfreight volumes through BLR Airport have grown considerably over the last ten years, with a CAGR of 11% (pre-COVID). Under the challenging pandemic environment, BLR Airport has been registering record tonnage month-on-month, with international cargo (both imports and exports) continuing to be a growth driver. Key factors that have led to this growth include a conducive geographic location with easy access to manufacturing hubs in South India, adequate airline capacities to service critical sectors across the globe, and world-class cargo infrastructure. Currently, we cater to 14 per cent of the Indian cargo market and 42 per cent of the South India cargo market. We are the busiest airport in South India and the third busiest in India. BLR Airport processed an all-time high tonnage of 411,513 Metric Tonnes (MT) of cargo since Airport Opening Day (AOD) in the fiscal year 2021-2022, recording a growth of 26% as against 326,643MT in FY 2021.
In October 2021, Bengaluru Airport broke records when it handled the highest monthly cargo throughput since it began operations in 2008. Perishable cargo has been another bright spot for BLR Airport. Our cargo infrastructure, powered by technology, provides rapid distribution of perishable cargo, making BLR Airport the preferred cargo airport in South India.
In June 2021, we signed an e-agreement with Kale Logistics Solutions to develop the ACS platform to streamline our air freight logistics system at the airport. Now, 95% of airport stakeholders have adopted the Kale Logistics Solutions Airport Cargo Community System (ACS) to streamline their cargo operations so we can jointly offer the best of services to customers.
Equally, we aim to create an environment that enables our cargo partners to introduce new initiatives and facilities that cater to constantly evolving demand.
According to internal estimates, the airport’s annual cargo potential, is estimated to be 1.7–1.9 million metric tonnes by 2038. Considering the natural catchment area of Bangalore and based on the distance of exporter and importer bases from the airport; the design capacity for cargo at the end of financial year FY 2020-21, enhanced from 570,000 MT annually, to 715,000 MT, with the addition of the Express Cargo Terminal (ECT). We have a dedicated cold zone – AISATS Coolport – with the capacity to handle 40,000 MT per annum and temperature zones ranging from -25 to +25 degrees Centigrade under the same roof. Menzies Aviation Bobba Bangalore has a cold zone, with a capacity of 20,000 MT per annum and the capability to handle 20 Unit Load Device (ULD) Pallets from 15 to 25 degrees Centigrade and 2 ULD for 2 to 8 degrees Centigrade, which has helped us with our perishable exports greatly.
We plan to further expand capacity over the next few years up to 985,000 MT annually to meet industry needs. In the long term, we expect to add additional capability to allow us to meet our forecast demand of over 1.5 million MT annually.