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

Cargo Talk - - Opinion -

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.

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