State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), in which the union government planning to divest 10% of its stake, is planning develop an international cargo hub at Nasik Airport, which is owned by the ministry of defence, according to P V Deshmukh, managing director of the firm. He said while retaining the defence activities at the airport, HAL would be developing the airport as an international hub with a specific focus to exports of perishable cargo.
Deshmukh said HAL has already invested Rs80 crore and would invest more to expand. ”We have already started discussions with Air India Ltd and international airlines to bring in cargo airlines to Nasik. We are getting an international airline to start its operations starting next month,” he added.
Maharashtra government-owned Maharashtra Airport Development Co. Ltd (MADC) was planning to develop a multinodal international cargo hub at Nagpur (Mihan) citing the centre location of the country, but the project was delayed. ”While Nagpur project was yet to complete, we have already set up the infrastructure. Moreover, the catchment area of Nasik airport is different and more cargo generating,” said Ganesh Krishnan, cheif executive officer at Clarion Soultions Pvt Ltd, which is managing terminal operations and ground handling at Nasik Airport.
The air cargo operations at Nasik airport is handled by HALCON , a joint working group of HAL and another state run rail logistics company, Container Corp. of India Ltd.