Hyderabad, India's pharma capital, gets boost with WHO cargo certification

Published: Wednesday, June 13, 2018

With demand for pharmaceuticals in India steadily increasing across the world, world-class facilities adhering to international standards assure buyers and consumers of best practices and quality health products.

G M R Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL) which operates Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) in Hyderabad has been continuously innovating, improving and expanding to provide the best of aviation services, be it on the passenger side or the cargo.

Not for nothing, last year GHIAL received Airport Service Quality (ASQ) award from the Airports Council International (ACI). RGIA was adjudged as world’s number one airport in the 5-15 million passengers per annum (MPPA) category for excelling 34 key service parameters.

Rajiv Gandhi International Airport’s efforts to keep on upgrading is well-known and now comes the recognition by the World Health Organisation. GHIAL’s cargo terminal has been certified with the WHO’s Good Storage and Distribution Practices (WHO-GSDP).

Awarded by SGS India, a leader in certifications in pharmaceutical sector, the WHO-GSDP certificate underscores Hyderabad airport’s commitment to and compliance with quality management standards and international requirements throughout the pharma supply chain.

The Hyderabad Airport Cargo Terminal received this certification following a six–month long rigorous evaluation process, during which a team of SGS India auditors analyzed Hyderabad Airport Cargo Terminal’s transportation, handling and storage processes, quality policies, facility management, equipment maintenance and security and assessed them against the guidelines outlined by the WHO’s GSDP framework.

The CEO of GHIAL, Mr. S.G.K Kishore, said, “As a Company, which is committed to ensuring end-to-end product safety and its integrity, we are proud to achieve WHO – GSDP certification. Our rigorous quality standards, specialty logistics expertise and meticulous execution, enable us to meet the demands of the Pharma City and optimize the supply chain for our customers globally.”

Dedicated Pharma Zone

In 2010, Hyderabad International Airport operated India’s first airport-based dedicated pharmaceutical handling facility (Pharma Zone), to handle the export of pharmaceutical products. It created a benchmark for dedicated temperature-controlled cargo handling facilities, influencing other airports in India.

Hyderabad is the pharma hub of India with Hyderabad Airport’s 60 percent cargo exports comprised of pharma products. Hyderabad Airport pharma cargo has witnessed CAGR of 10 percent for the last five years.

Its cargo terminal has been taking initiatives for effective handling of pharmaceuticals in order to meet the growing requirements of customers the world over. Over the years, there has been a growing demand for temperature controlled facilities and major focus has been on establishing an end to end unbroken cold chain for handling exports and imports.

Best-in-class cooling systems

Consistently being at the forefront of taking path breaking initiatives, Hyderabad Airpor t Cargo has inducted best-in-class active and passive cooling storage mechanisms in partnership with Envirotainer and Agility to keep the pharma products’ integrity sacrosanct. Hyderabad Airport Cargo Terminal has also inducted a large tunnel X-Ray to facilitate the screening of shipper built units (SBUs).

Since the inception of the Air Cargo Complex, 10 years ago(commissioned on March 23, 2008),
Rajiv Gandhi International Airport has come a long way. It is the foremost cargo complex in India to have implemented a concept of an integrated cargo facility housing both domestic and international facilities under one roof. The Air Cargo Complex has a built-in area of 14,500 Sq meters, with a capacity to handle cargo throughput of 1,50,000 MT annually. The complex has dedicated cargo apron facilities both for handling regular and freighter operations.
The key features of the complex include:

  • Spacious processing and storage and handling facilities for domestic (outbound, inbound including courier) and international (export, import, trans-shipment) cargo
  • Separate Cold Storage facilities for domestic and international (export and import) cargo
  • Special handling facilities for precious, hazardous and perishable cargo
  • Exclusive storage facilities for Valuable, Vulnerable & Dangerous consignments
  • Customs Examination area facilities
  • Dedicated banking facilities offered by State Bank of Hyderabad with future provision of another bank
  • Adequate Dock leveler facility at the truck dock area to handle any type of vehicle
  • Exclusive office area distinct from cargo processing/storage area
  • X-ray screening facilities
  • Access Control System
  • EDI System having provision for interfacing arrangements with regulatory, facilitating and other user agencies
  • State of the art equipments like Lift & Run System (an improved version over ETV), articulated high reach trucks etc;
  • Usage of pollution free battery charged cargo handling equipments with stand by charger units
  • Total coverage with CCTV Surveillance System of all areas 24/7
  • Truck docking/ car parking areas close to the air cargo complex

Joint venture with Hyderabad Menzies

To ensure world class facilities are provided to the cargo community, GHIAL has formed a joint venture company, Hyderabad Menzies Air Cargo Pvt. Ltd (HMACPL). One of the globally leading cargo and ground handling operator viz Menzies Aviation Plc (HMACPL) is the joint venture partner.

Hyderabad Menzies Air Cargo offers optional documentation handling for International cargo; total documentation handling for domestic cargo; Air way bill (AWB) execution for walk-in customers; and acceptance of cargo in ready for carriage condition subject to carting orders from airlines. It provides AWB execution for walk-in domestic customers. It also takes cargo in ready for carriage condition subject to carting order from airlines. HMACPL provides complete physical storage handling including build-up & break-down of ULDs. It has created dedicated handling of freighter operations and not to forget the Warehouse Inventory Management.

Free Trade Zone

The Free Trade Zones (FTZ) is a special category of Special Economic Zone and is governed by the provisions of the SEZ Act and the Rules under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry.The only airport based FTZ is located two kilometres east of the Passenger Terminal building of the Hyderabad-RGIA while the logistics /FTZ precinct is approximately 19.85 acres in area.

The site is high quality, ideal with flat & barren characteristics under the possession of GHIAL as notified multiproduct SEZ. The FTZ site includes direct road access which is strategically significant for future development of the logistics district.

Cargo Village

The Cargo Village consisting of the existing Cargo Satellite Building (CSB), houses 120 units, each unit measuring 6800X7600 mm with 40 warehouses on Ground Floor along with 80 offices on 1st and 2nd floor.

Many leading Customs House Agents (CHAs) and Freight Forwarders are currently present in the CSB .

Regulatory agencies like CDSCO (Central Drug Standards Control Organization), Plant Quarantine, Animal Quarantine and Government agencies like Department of Posts are also provided with premises at CSB.

RGIA is now constructing a new facility that will meet the growing demands of warehousing and office space at RGIA. The new building is called CSBX (Cargo Satellite Building Extension) and is adjacent to the current CSB space. The CSBX will complement our efforts to establish and grow India’s 1st functional Cargo Village.

The international freight carried by Hyderabad airport indicates healthy growth. It processed 65279 metric tons from April 2017 to January 2018 as against 56574 metric tons during the previous period. Qatar Airways Cargo and Lufthansa operate dedicated freighters from here. As regards domestic freight, it carried 45994 metric tons from April 2017 to January 2018 as against 43987 metric tons.

The airport is all set to embark on a major expansion by doubling the capacity up to 25 million passengers per annum (MPPA).

“Though the work has begun in a small way, it will gather speed in January 2018 and will be completed in 24-30 months. Last year, the airport handled 16 MPPA and expected to hit 18 MPPA by end of this fiscal,” Mr. Kishore mentioned. “When the terminal was planned in 2006, it was designed to facilitate expansion and handle twice the current capacity of 12 MPPA when completed. Of the 16 MPPA handled last year, one third for international travelers.”

There is no stopping the expansion of the Hyderabad airport which is keeping itself abreast of the times and passenger comfort and needs.