Each zone will have a good manufacturing practice (GMP) compliant centre and the capacity to test materials during transit in an environment similar to a production facility.
By providing the means to test products before export the government is hoping to expand the nations industry and ensure it gains a reputation for quality products.
Surinder Singh, Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), said: "We have prepared a blueprint for establishing pharmaceutical zones on international airports, so that the testing of drugs can be done while exporting pharmaceutical products from the country."
The increasing importance being placed on quality in the country is reflected by the recruitment drive that is underway. As part of this the DCGI is recruiting 180 people in various positions including 72 drug inspectors.
A strengthening of the workforce is necessary if the DCGI is to successfully implement its plans to conduct live audits of clinical trials. There is also a plan to add to India’s limited testing sites, which are currently being revamped, by utilising private facilities.
Emirates increasing cargo capacity from India
Prior to the Indian government outlining its plans for airports, the airline Emirates revealed proposals to increase the quantity of cargo its ships from India.
As of February 2009 Emirates will export 2,647 tonnes from Indian airports, with the rise reflecting the increasing strength of the nations industries, including the pharmaceutical sector.
The increase is a result of seven additional flights per week going from Mumbai and Delhi, while five more flights will be taking off from Bangalore each week.