By: Rohit Sarkar
As a part of India’s war against the pandemic of COVID-19, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has launched “Lifeline Udan”. Under the aforesaid initiative, flights are being operated for the movement of essentials and medicinal supplies only to across the nations.
According to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, 116 Lifeline Udan Flights have been operated under the initiative during the five days from 26th March 2020 to 30th March.
The flights under lifeline Udan are being coordinated by a control room set up under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The Cargo of Lifeline Udan consists of COVID-19 related medicinal supplies, reagents, enzymes, personal protective equipment, testing kits, masks, gloves as well as other accessories required by people who are treating coronavirus in the frontlines.
The bulk of the cargo comprises light-weight and comprehensive products like face masks, gloves and other consumables that require more space on the aircraft per ton. Special permission has been taken by the airline authority to store cargo in the passenger seating area and overhead storing cabins, with due precautions. The flights of the Udan Lifeline Initiative are being functioned despite significant logistical challenges in road transportation of cargo to and from airports; production bottlenecks and the movement of aviation personnel.
Airlines such as Alliance airline, Air India, Indian Air Force, Pawan Hans provide the carriers in this initiative. Airports Authority of India, AAICLAS, PPP airports as well as private ground handling entities is providing amazing support. The Flights under Lifeline Udan are planned using a hub and spoke model and the cargo hubs have been set up at Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Bangalore.
On 5th April 2020, the first medical cargo flight from India left for China. This special air India Flight transported medical cargo to China, including novel coronavirus test kits. The government of both countries is hoping that more of such kind of flights will operate between their nations.
According to reports, the cargo flight that went to China will bring back antibody rapid tests which serve as an alternative to RT-PCR tests for confirmation of COVID-19. The Indian Medical Research (IMR) has placed an order for an astounding amount of 10 lakh test kits, however, it is unclear as to how many of these will be imported from China.
To enable seamless coordination between various agencies, the National Informatics Centre and Ministry of Civil Aviation have developed a website for the lifeline Udan initiative under 3 days. The freshly launched website enables the state governments as well as airlines to upload the details of their goods consignments and flight services respectively, in advance. The control room of the ministry assigns the goods consignments to different flights and till the consignment reaches its destination, coordinates with multiple stakeholders.
CONCLUSION(UDAN flights shipping cargo):
As the year goes on, the pandemic is spreading more and more throughout all the nations, severely in Italy. Initiatives such as Udan Lifeline is a huge contribution towards this long battle to cure COVID-19 throughout the entire world. Thus, UDAN flights shipping cargo over countries.
Since the first cargo of medicinal goods already got delivered to China, both the governments of China and India are hoping for more of the same exchanges soon.