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Free-trade zone may be implemented at India's Kempegowda International Airport

A free-trade zone at the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) which will have warehousing, storage and distribution facilities for trade, trans-shipment, and re-export operations has been proposed.

A feasibility study for setting up the free-trade zone which is a special category of the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) will soon be carried out.

“There is a plan to set up a new cargo facility at the far-east side of the airport which will be a full-fledged SEZ or a free-trade zone,” said Raj Andrade, VP, Business Development, Marketing and Strategy, BIAL.

He added that the proposed free-trade zone would enhance BIAL’s cargo operations and project it as a leading cargo hub in the country.

“To enhance the passenger experience, we are already developing the Terminal 2 and the second runway which will be operational in the next few years. With the free-trade zone, we can develop the airport as the single gateway for cargo traffic,” he added.

BIAL officials said that the cargo business at the airport contributes 11 per cent of Karnataka’s GDP (approximately Rs 12,50,000 crores), substantially higher than the global average of 2 to 3 per cent. 

Officials said that, at present, there are seven dedicated freighter aircraft bays and facilities to handle a wide range of goods. The present design capacity of the combined cargo terminals is 350,000 MT, catering to both the international and domestic air cargo traffic.

Officials added that the cargo traffic saw a growth of 142 per cent from May 2008, when the airport started operations, to date.

Perishables that are exported from the airport include mixed vegetables and fruits etc. with the top destinations going to Qatar, Singapore and UAE.

The total export cargo value at pegged is Rs 59,742 crores and the total import cargo value at Rs 81,849 crores.

The airport has one of the highest customs revenues in the country with Rs 7,700 crores of revenue being generated per annum as of March 2017. The highest exports of roses and mangoes from the region takes place from the airport as 303 tonnes of roses were exported in February and 5,62,107 kg of mangoes were exported in April and May.

1 Crore = 10,000,000
1 RS = 0.0154568 USD

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