Delhi : Secretary for Civil Aviation , Shri Ashok Lavasa, while reviewing the functioning of Airports Authority of India , gave direction for drawing plans to develop domestic cargo terminals throughout the country. Highlighting the importance of air cargo infrastructure in the country which is a barometer of global economic health, Shri Ashok Lavasa mandated that the works shall be in sync with the Government’s plan for development of air cargo facilities throughout the country and development of national logistics network for faster movement of cargo goods.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation believes that improving efficiency in the existing infrastructure is a continuous process, therefore , addition of infrastructure shall also be planned and put in place where ever feasible. This is in continuation with the recent development of cargo terminal buildings at Coimbatore and Trichy. Similar facilities shall be established at other airports also. Airports Authority of India informed that they had recently established cargo facility at Mangalore airport with an area of 1400 sqm for international cargo and 1100 sqm for domestic cargo thereby providing an annual holding capacity of 5000 tonnes for international import cargo, 13000 tonnes for export cargo, 18000 tonnes for domestic in-bound cargo and 21000 tonnes for domestic out-bound cargo. AAI informed that in all 24 airports have been identified for development of such domestic cargo terminals.
Air cargo represents about 10% of the airline industries’ revenue. About 35% of the value of goods traded internationally, is transported by air. Transport and logistics industries are closely related so far as growth and development of economy is concerned. Thus with a boom in economic activity, demand for transport and logistics is sure to be in demand. Further, with globalization and present trends of international marketing boom in the industry it is expected to boost the cargo traffic both in urban and rurban areas. Ministry of Civil Aviation had setup a working group to study the air cargo logistics in India and had released the report in May 2012. The report envisages that there is strong relationship between growth in international trade and logistics infrastructure. During the year 2013-14, all operational airports taken together , so far as freight is concerned, maintained 2 million MT mark (1.4 MT international and 0.8 million MT domestic); specifically freight handled was 2279.12 thousand tones, which indicates an increase of 4% over the previous year. At a growth rate of 5% by 2017-18, it is forecast to touch 2796 thousand MT and at a growth rate of 8.2% beyond 2017-18, it is forecast to touch 4142 thousand MT by 2022-23.