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Thu 30 Nov 2006 08:00 PM

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Sharjah enhances cargo centre


Sharjah International Airport has invested in the development of its Freight Centre following continued growth in traffic. Key recent developments include the addition of two new aircraft parking bays and two new 4 pallet-trucks.

This comes on the back of healthy growth in cargo throughput this year. In the first nine months of 2006, the Freight Centre handled 411,697 tons, compared with 349,259 tons in the same period last year, growth of 17.88%.

“The Sharjah Airport Freight Center always aims to service its valued clients in the most efficient manner with standards that match international levels of service and excellence,” said Mr. Ali H. Kombargi, director of the Sharjah International Airport Freight Centre. “All procedures and facilities at the Freight Centre have been approved by the ISO Quality certifications to match the best standards in the industry.”

The addition of two new parking bays at the facility is a response to the growth in the number of cargo flights stopping off there. For example, four weekly midnight flights bring in meat for local consumption. In response, Sharjah Municipality has drawn up plans to install a new chilled storage area at the airport.

The airport is keen to stress its willingness to different clients’ needs. For example, the airport has constructed a shed used for the storage and checking of live bees. For five months of the year, two weekly flights carries 20 tons of bees are flown from Egypt to Sharjah. The bees are then transported by road to Al Ain where honey is prepared at bee farms there.

The Freight Centre uses text messages to inform customers when shipments arrive at the airport. The airport has invested heavily in multiple types of security and claims that there have been no security alarms or thefts at the Freight Centre. CCTV systems were recently upgraded to digital technology from analogue and unspecified new measures have been in put place all five of the airport’s cargo terminals to ensure safe transportation of goods through the airport.

A breakdown of the airport’s cargo throughput showed that imports increased from 47,488 tons in January-September 2005 to 53,913 tons in January-September 2006, a rise of 13.53%. Exports touched 82,578 tons this year and transferred cargo grew from 16,887 tons last year to 57,318 tons this year. Transit cargo grew from 191,801 tons in the first nine months of last year to 217,888 tons this year.

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