Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport (BLR) in Karnataka, India, has launched the country’s first dedicated express cargo terminal solely for the import and export of international couriers.

The 200,000ft² built-to-suit facility has been developed by BLR operator Bangalore International Airport (BIAL) and will accommodate international express courier organisations such as FedEx Express and DHL Express.

The Express Industry Council of India (EICI) will run the common-user express terminal on behalf of other courier businesses.

Customs Bengaluru zone chief commissioner Srinivas said: “At South India’s busiest cargo airport, this exclusive terminal for express couriers at BLR Airport will significantly boost the trade and economy of the region.

“The new terminal will enable ease of doing business and reduce transaction time and cost for the shipper by providing a dedicated facility for express courier shipments.”

The terminal will also have direct access to both the airside and landside, as well as a dedicated area for customs offices.

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BIAL managing director and CEO Hari Marar said: “With express courier gaining greater significance following the exponential growth of e-commerce, the express cargo terminal at BLR Airport is a significant step towards supporting and driving this growth.”

Once built, the new facility will take the airport’s total annual cargo capacity from the current 570,000mt to 720,000mt, helping it process around 150,000mt every year.

The airport claimed that this is a first-of-its-kind warehousing centre, which has been designed and built-to-suit in the country.

On another note, the Government of India plans to sell its remaining stake in Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai, and the Hyderabad (HYD) airports, which are already privatised.

In addition, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has announced that passengers inside the aircraft who will not wear their masks properly or do not follow ‘Covid-19 appropriate behaviour’ will be ‘de-boarded’ from the flights.