Bhubaneswar, Jan 27:

International cargo handling operations were launched at the Biju Patnaik International Airport here on Friday to boost exports from the state.

Odisha Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi, who inaugurated the cargo handling operations at the city airport, said: “Now we can reach the world with our products which can be directly sent to foreign destinations. It would boost the export of different products from the state.”

He said some modern facilities are available at the city airport to export goods hassle-free to other parts of the world.

The Airport Authority of India (AAI) has earmarked a hall adjacent to the domestic air cargo terminal for the purpose. The AAI has also accorded concurrence to the city office of the AAI to become custodian of the international air cargo terminal.

AAI Regional Executive Director Sanjay Jain said about Rs 20,000 crore of goods were exported from Odisha through different mediums last year.

“With the facilities, the high value cargo and perishable cargo can be despatched to other parts of the world at a faster rate,” said Jain.

The representatives of various export associations like seafood, agro-food processing industries, handloom and handicrafts exporters, spice exporters hoped that it will be highly beneficial for the industry and trade to get the cargo dispatching facility from the airport instead of the current practice of sending a cargo by road via Hyderabad or Kolkata. (IANS)