Global perspectives - Bhadra International India Limited
BIIL looks to improve India’s ground handling offering.
With its antiquated airports and infrastructure, sourcing quality ground handling services in India can be somewhat problematic for many global aviation companies. However, Bhadra International India Limited (BIIL) plans to change that.
Managing director, Prem Bajaj, says the company’s aim is to provide “world-class security and quality” ground handling services at India’s international airports. At present, BIIL’s main focus is Southern and Eastern India where it provides ground support services for ramp, passenger, cargo and general aviation at Chennai, Kolkata, Calicut, Coimbatore, Trivandrum, Trichy and Mangalore airports. In future, however, Bajaj plans to further expand the BIIL network by offering the professional handling services, so often in short supply, in one of the world’s fastest growing aviation markets. “We employ the most highly skilled staff and supply ground support for our customer airlines that is efficient, safe and always on-time,” he adds.
BIIL was formed by Bajaj back in 2000 when he realised that as the Indian economy was liberalised and grew, demand for aviation would also mushroom and modern ground handling services using the latest equipment would be required. BIIL has since spent over $100 million to procure the latest ground handling equipment and providing facilities to ensure personnel are properly trained to use the latest machinery.
Today, the company operates the latest models of passenger buses from Cobus, as well as Trepel cargo loaders, Rheinmetall Air Start Units, Schopf push back tractors and state-of-the-art conveyers. Insa auto-steps and air-conditioning units manufactured by TLD France and ground power units from Hitzinger are also deployed at airports where Bhadra has concessions, alongside battery driven tow-tugs and recently acquired forklift trucks.
Bajaj is a staunch supporter of the Indian government’s “go green” policies, which aim at reducing air pollution caused by the aviation industry. “Many workers at airports suffer from lung diseases because of diesel pollution,” he says. “I am working for the day when the majority of ground handling equipment will be eco-friendly.”
BIIL has joined with Danish-based ground handler, Novia, to improve the training of personnel. As a result, BIIL’s passenger handling, says Bajaj, “now has the expertise to deal with the passengers in a friendlier manner and with a humane touch, and with continual improvement to achieve the ultimate objective of 100% on-time performance of flights with utmost safety and security of passengers, cargo and aircraft movements.”
In the years ahead he says, Indian airports will continue to improve service levels with BIIL to the fore. ”In keeping with international norms, Indian airports, which until now were a neglected group, are rapidly modernising,” he explains. “Even some of the airports have been privatised and the facilities at the private airports such as Kochi, New Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad are up to the best international standards.”
“Some of these, such as IGI Delhi, with 78 gates, 97 automated walkways and 95 immigration counters, now rank amongst the very best in the international arena. And the projected plans of India’s international and domestic airlines to add more than 1000 aircraft in the next five years are an indication of where civil aviation in India is going be in the near future.”