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GMR Hyderabad Air Cargo Ready to Handle Coronavirus Vaccine Consignments

File photo of the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad. (Image Source: Reuters)

File photo of the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad. (Image Source: Reuters)

GHAC is in talks with various stakeholders towards meeting specific requirements of export and import of Covid-19 vaccines, including the challenge of having multiple ranges of cold and ultra-cold minus temperature storage facilities.

GMR Hyderabad Air Cargo (GHAC), a subsidiary of GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL), on Tuesday said that it is ready to handle export and import of Covid-19 vaccines.

GHAC is in talks with various stakeholders towards meeting specific requirements of export and import of Covid-19 vaccines, including the challenge of having multiple ranges of cold and ultra-cold minus temperature storage facilities.

It faces a major challenge in maintaining value chain of vaccine shipments and providing necessary infrastructure for unbroken cool-chain for the global vaccine shipments to maintain the vaccine integrity.

Experts say that Hyderabad, the pharma hub and vaccine capital of India, will be an integral part of the Covid-19 solution by virtue of its robust manufacturing technology and capacity to manufacture millions of doses as per the best in class industry practices.

As per the industry insights, most of India's vaccine export will be to Africa, Latin America and Asian destinations. Ingredients may be obtained from Europe and few other regions.

The Covid-19 vaccines require specialised handling, hence the procedures are being developed in coordination with manufacturers and supply-chain players to mitigate any risk during the process of transportation of vaccines right from the manufacturers' facility to the final destination.

GHAC has well-established standard operating procedures (SOP) in place for acceptance, screening and handling of vaccines as per required temperature conditions. The pharma zone of the terminal is a WHO-GSDP (World Health Organization - Good Storage and Distribution Practices) certified facility. It provides end-to-end unbroken cool-chain for pharmaceutical and vaccine shipments.

Currently, GMR Hyderabad Air Cargo is in the process of expanding specific landside and airside facilities to further handle the spurt in pharma and vaccine shipments from Hyderabad.

Plans are in place also to increase the storage capacity for various vaccine types and related accessories and supplies. GHAC is also working with cool container providers for maintaining large stock at its station. It is also upgrading the current capacity of cool container storage and charging locations to handle the surge in cool containers movement.

For quick mechanised handling of vaccine boxes and to avoid any breakage/leakage of shipments, dock levelers are in place at the truck dock area for multiple vehicle compatibility. The entire pharma zone is also equipped with temperature and humidity sensors with alarm alerts along with CCTV surveillance to check any temperature excursion in real time. Temperature recording and monitoring is being done with data loggers in exclusive cold storage for temperature sensitive cargo like vaccines/pharma.

GHAC is working in sync with freight forwarders and trade members to improve efficiency to handle more volumes with faster turnaround. It is undertaking expansion of the Truck Dock and Pharma Zone to increase its handling capacity for temperature sensitive pharma and vaccine shipments. This upgrade will also reduce the cargo acceptance and processing time and enhance operational efficiencies.

first published:December 08, 2020, 20:34 IST