Domestic air cargo sector to be boosted
Being the only association dealing with domestic air cargo across the country, DACAAI has taken a step to achieve operational efficiency, stressing upon the core issues of the industry such as high service tax, capacity utilisation, poor infrastructure, t
Domestic Air Cargo Agents Association of India (DACAAI) organised a curtain raiser on July 31, 2015 of its fifth annual convention. The short event gave a brief on various aspects of the growing potential of domestic air cargo and the importance of suitable facilities for handling the same. “The convention will deliberate on issues confronting the domestic air cargo handling in India, including the infrastructural and procedural bottlenecks, which hamper proper growth,” shared Suraj Agarwal, President, DACAAI.
Commenting on the current scenario of domestic air cargo, Chief Guest Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Culture, Tourism and MoS for Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) said, “MoCA is aware of this important area for development and to handle it sufficiently, Airports Authority of India (AAI) has undertaken development of 24 airports for Common User Domestic Terminals to enhance domestic air cargo activities.”
“A bitter fact is that our share of cargo business is less because of high charges and poor infrastructure support. The Government is working on these issues,” Dr Sharma added.
“After considering the growth of domestic air cargo year-on-year, air has become a preferred mode of transport for vaccines, medicines, fruits and vegetable, high value electronics, mobile phones, courier and eCommerce. For the eCommerce industry air freight is the backbone for their supply chain,” Dr Sharma stressed.
Issues discussed at the event were high service tax, unplanned adhoc infrastructure, independent ombudsman, terminal handling charges that need to be provided at the domestic level. “Infrastructure is not able to cater to the present tonnage and growth,” said Agarwal. Echoing similar views, Amit Bajaj, General Secretary, DACAAI focused upon independent ombudsman. “At present, there is no government forum to address grievances, burning issues and bottlenecks in handling domestic air cargo,” added Bajaj.
DACAAI conducted a study on the need of centralised domestic cargo facilities and presented it to the MoCA. The association also wanted the Ministry to utilise DACAAI’s experience in handling domestic cargo by consulting DACAAI on policy guidelines relating to multiple charges levied by different airport operators, handling and screening equipments so that investment by AAI and JV airports can be utilised properly for trade facilitation.
The report has recommended 32 airports in the first phase, where domestic air cargo is growing speedily, for creating common terminals along with standard models for small, medium and large airports.