Indian Air Force prepares to distribute Covid vaccines from Pune

THE Airports Authority of India (I) is finalising arrangements with the Indian Air Force to receive 2

29 December 2020 - 19:00
THE Airports Authority of India (I) is finalising arrangements with the Indian Air Force to receive 2.5 acres of land adjacent to Pune airport to distribute vaccines from the Serum Institute of India, reported Chennai's Indian Express.

'The transfer of the land, which is currently owned by the Indian Air Force (IAF) to Pune airport has been a longstanding demand of the I. They have asked for a land exchange, and I has finalised the plan for this,' a senior government official said.

'The airport management is also constantly in discussions with Serum Institute to understand the requirements, because a significant amount of freight is expected to go out from Pune,' the official said.

Pune-based Serum, the world's largest maker of vaccines by number of doses, has been licensed by Oxford-AstraZeneca to test, manufacture, and distribute its vaccine against the novel coronavirus in India.

Airports and logistics players are now expanding cold chain facilities and setting up computerised trucking slots for more efficient redistribution from airports. .

While Pune will be one of the hubs for the distribution of domestically-manufactured vaccines, the bulk of the vaccine consignment will be imported through major international airports including Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad.

Delhi, the country's largest airport, has launched 'Project Sanjivani' to equip cargo terminals with special cooling chambers.

'These facilities have state-of-the-art temperature-controlled zones with separate cool chambers ranging from 25 degrees C to minus 20 degrees C,' said a Delhi airport statement.

At the airport's cargo terminals, dedicated gates have been assigned for fast movement of vehicles into and out of the airport. The airport has also put in place a truck slot management system at its cargo terminals, and cargo operators can pre-book the arrival of trucks at the terminal.

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