CSMIA Facilitates Equitable National Distribution Of COVID-19 Vaccines

Adani Airport CSMIA Rated - Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport. - Aviatorsbuzz
A view of Terminal 2 of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport. Source: CSMIA

As part of the government’s efforts to supply vaccines, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) on Wednesday facilitated the delivery of vials of Covishield vaccine across 22 destinations in the country.

CSMIA Records Minimum Ramp Time

The first vaccine shipment departed from the airport at 5:20 AM to Goa through GoAir carrying 2 boxes of the vaccine followed by the shipment to Rajkot at 6:00 AM through SpiceJet carrying 7 boxes. The Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) implemented by the airport in anticipation of the vaccine distribution saw the terminal register a cargo processing time of just 7 minutes, right from goods acceptance to dispatch at ramp.

Total 227 Boxes Distributed

CSMIA will facilitate the distribution of a total of 227 boxes, containing approximately 2,72,400 doses of the vaccine. These will be delivered to Goa, Bagdogra, Rajkot, Ranchi, Imphal, Agartala, Cochin, Bhopal, Kanpur, Jammu, Srinagar, Lucknow, Chandigarh, Gorakhpur, Raipur, Dehradun, Varanasi, Indore, Trivandrum and Jabalpur through SpiceJet, IndiGo, GoAir and Vistara. Of these, Raipur and Cochin emerged as the destinations with the largest vaccine deliveries of 27 and 25 boxes respectively.

CSMIA: A Hub of Pharma Cargo

Being a pharma hub, CSMIA is a veteran in transporting vaccine across the world and has placed a well-defined process for the faster turnaround of COVID-19 vaccine EXIM and transshipment movements.

The airport has deployed a dedicated COVID-task force in order to reduce dwell time and facilitate advanced planning and collaboration between the airport and all stakeholders in this process – the airline customers, supply chain partners, regulatory and governmental bodies, and vaccine distributors.

It has also initiated a full-time 24×7 Customer Service Cell for COVID-19 vaccine EXIM consignments, in order to address customer queries, pre-alerts and status updates.

Moreover, the airport is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities such as Asia’s largest temperature-controlled Export Pharma Excellence Centre and Pharma-dedicated Import Cold Zone, a first-of-its-kind – ‘Cooltainer’ facility and the largest hub for Envirotainer movements with over 60 power outlets for processing pharma active containers.

Additionally, it has an exclusive station dealing with storage and maintenance of both e-type, and t-type active containers that help facilitate the seamless distribution of vaccines across India.

In the wake of the pandemic, CSMIA has been relentlessly operating its cargo handling activities to cater to the greater need to mobilize and supply essential life-saving commodities across India and the world.

The airport continues to undertake precautionary measures such as thermal temperature reading, social distancing, sensor-based hand sanitizers, wearing PPE, and regular sanitization of cargo facilities.

As the first airport in India and third in Asia to achieve the IATA CEIV certification as well as being the only Indian airport in a strategic partnership with Pharma.aero, CSMIA is well-positioned to support, maintain and optimize pharma-dedicated corridors globally.

SpiceJet Flies Vials

On January 13, 2021, SpiceJet shipped 111 boxes of Covid-19 vaccine, weighing 3.5 tonnes from Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad to 11 cities including Bagdogra, Dehradun, Srinagar, Jammu, Kanpur, Gorakhpur, Jabalpur, Ranchi, Rajkot, Delhi and Bengaluru.

SpiceJet - aviatorsbuzz
The first box of COVID vaccines being loaded by SpiceJet on a Pune-Delhi flight. Source: SpiceJet

A SpiceJet spokesperson said that SpiceJet’s freighter flight SG 7555 operating from Hyderabad to Bengaluru took-off at 8.50 a.m. on Wednesday with a shipment of 3 boxes of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin weighing 90 kg. It landed in Bengaluru at 10.23 a.m.

From Mumbai, SpiceJet carried 74 boxes of Serum Institute of India’s Covishield vaccine to various cities including two to Bagdogra, 10 to Dehradun, seven to Srinagar, six to Jammu, six to Kanpur, nine to Gorakhpur, 13 to Jabalpur, 14 to Ranchi and seven to Rajkot.

From Pune, SpiceJet carried 34 boxes of Covishield to Delhi. This follows the successful shipment of 4 million doses of Covishield by SpiceJet on January 12.

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Deputy Editor, AviatorsBuzz Aditya Anand in his nearly two decades of Journalism experience has tracked Aviation, Travel, and Hospitality closely and reported on it for major publications like The Hindu, Mumbai Mirror, and MIDDAY.