Revival of the air cargo must for growth
The new government intends to give the desired attention to the air cargo sector, but cargo needs are still missing from the draft. There is a crucial need to address challenges to work together towards developing a worldclass air cargo logistics and expr
The Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) had recently organised a meeting to discuss the ASSOCHAM’s white paper to be submitted to the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and have a pre-budget discussion. Recently, MoCA released the draft civil aviation policy with an aim to focus on the upliftment of the much ignored cargo sector and the necessary regulations for the same. According to Pusapati Ashok
Gajapati Raju, Civil Aviation Minister, Government of India, “The draft policy is a step toward making civil aviation, a vibrant sector in our country, to rise to its full potential.” However, the industry is not satisfied with the initiatives taken by the government and the industry feels that the needs of cargo sector are yet to be addressed. “Airlines make money out of cargo not of passengers,” says Sunil Arora, Managing Director, Delta Air Freight adding, “Cost is increasing and efficiency should be considered.”
The need to create multiple airports in various cities, need of skilled manpower and various cargo needs were discussed at the meetings. CAPA put forward the need for foreign talent in Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Air Traffic Control (ATC) and more quality institutes. “We are focusing towards being paperless, but what about airports. We need a stronger AERA to cover cost,” says Arora.
The draft gives strong recognition of the fact that availability of infrastructure at competitive rates promotes trade and improves global competitiveness of the country and is also a key determinant of foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows. The Express industry would like to draw special attention to the fact that such infrastructure should be made available at competitive rates. Given that many concessionaire air cargo and related facilities are effective monopolies, it is important that logistics providers are not made to pay over and above legitimate rates for these facilities that are in line with global best practices on such pricing.
The Express Industry perspective:
Need for dedicated facilities for Air Express Operations with air side and city side access and multiple freighter parking bays. Specifically, two types of infrastructure are required at all major airports (a) Dedicated facilities for express companies with large dedicated operations and (b) Common user terminals for smaller operators;
The development and design of any warehouse including airport cargo terminal is mainly dependent on the business model and processes to be adopted which in turn are dependent on nature of operations. Thus, development of warehouses that meet the specific needs of express operators are critical;
Quick implementation of Express EDI;
Lack of 24/7 facilities including customs clearance is an impediment to the need for the very quick processing of export and import cargo that is required by Express operators;
Customs regulations in India do not have proper and transparent regulations on returns. There are no clear guidelines for RTO (return to origin) that are required for cases when merchandise arrives in the country by mistake or accidental circumstances. Customs needs to expedite the development of formal rules governing RTO that is both transparent and simple;
Re-orientation of plans of airport infrastructure development in a manner that balances priorities for passenger traffic with cargo. Airport development to have a comprehensive approach that integrates special facilities for express freight, frozen foods, airmail, hazardous goods, and includes specialised equipments, connecting roads, truck parking terminal and public amenities.
The draft gives strong recognition to the fact that availability of infrastructure at competitive rates promotes trade and improves global competitiveness of the country and is also a key determinant of foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows