Exporters suffer as AAI arm bars Rajsico cargo operations

Despite various departments, including the state chief secretary, writing letters to the Airport Authority of India (AAI) to allow Rajsico to continue to operate its Airport Cargo Complex (ACC) in Jaipur airport, there is no respite for the exporters.

Exports from Jaipur airport have stopped for over a month and exporters are using road transport to reach Delhi airport to send their consignments, incurring higher costs and losing precious time.

After the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) warned the airlines, they have stopped lifting export consignments from the ACC since January 8. BCAS has cited security reasons for stopping the operations of ACC, which has been working as the custodian of the customs since 1979.

Sources in Rajsico, a state government PSU, said AAI wants its cargo handling subsidiary AAICLAS to start operations in Jaipur.

“That’s why they do not want Rajsico’s operations. If there are security issues, those can be addressed by Rajsico, which has always complied with the requirements of AAI. Closing the unit was never an option.”

When spoke to Jaideep Balhara, director of Jaipur airport, he said, “There are security issues and that’s why BCAS has withdrawn the permission for operating the cargo complex. As regard to AAICLAS, it will start operations soon and this is not the reason for stopping ACC. There can be multiple custodians in an airport.”

Sources in Rajsico said that the state PSU had invested over Rs 1 crore for buying a new X-ray and screening machines as per the requirement of the airlines and AAI. “We are ready to comply with any requirement. But they should tell us that instead of stopping the operations,” the source said.

In the 2019 LEADS (Logistics Ease Across Different States) ranking, Rajasthan’s position has declined by five places to 12 from 7