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Air Cargo Operators, Airports Planning Steps to Ensure Smooth Transport of COVID-19 Vaccines

(Representative image) A worker preprares to load medical supplies in a cargo aircraft.

 REUTERS/Francois Lenoir - RC26FG9H4KEG

(Representative image) A worker preprares to load medical supplies in a cargo aircraft. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir - RC26FG9H4KEG

Major Indian airports will provide flexible slots and separate temperature controlled zones while air cargo operators would run multiple flights in a short time span to transport COVID19 vaccines.

Major Indian airports will provide flexible slots and separate temperature-controlled zones while air cargo operators would run multiple flights in a short time span to transport COVID-19 vaccines that are expected to become available in India early next year. The Indian government is in touch with Moderna, Pfizer, Serum Institute of India, Bharat Biotech and Zydus Cadila over the progress of the clinical trials of each of the vaccine candidates.

The CSMIA (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport) in Mumbai is the "largest pharma gateway in the country" and it will provide flexible slot allocation for ad hoc freighter operations for transportation of COVID-19 vaccines, a spokesperson of the airport told PTI. A slot is a date and time at which an aircraft is permitted to depart or arrive at an airport.

The CSMIA will provide "round the clock green channel with dedicated truck docks, X-Ray machine, ULD (unit load device) buildup workstation" and key account managers will be deployed for "round the clock monitoring of vaccine operations", the spokesperson said. On the topic of COVID-19 vaccine transportation, a spokesperson of air cargo operator Blue Dart — which has six Boeing 757 freighter aircraft in its fleet — told.