August was a good month. During a meeting of the Airport Advisory Committee, it was decided to develop Pantnagar Airport at Uttarakhand as a cargo hub. This would fulfill the needs of adjacent industrial areas and increase connectivity with more flights. Meanwhile, the Indore Airport is soon to get its own air cargo facility with five companies in the race for the licence to run it. The draft of the Civil Aviation Policy is likely to come out by early September 2015.
Operators transporting their cargo via railways have a reason to rejoice as two Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFC) projects on the Western and Eastern routes have been sanctioned and are under implementation. The unit cost of freight transport on the two corridors will be lesser than that of Indian Railways.
Movement of cargo via shipping is again in focus after the Cochin Port welcomed a trade delegation from the US and discussed port-led investments. Visakhapatnam Port Trust will soon have a cold storage facility in its harbour, enabling exporters to store and export their perishable goods.
The Ministry of Shipping has decided to prepare a National Perspective Plan (NPP) for the entire coastline in six months, which will identify potential geographical regions to be called Coastal Economic Zones (CEZs). Thirty projects for port augmentation and mechanisation of major ports have been targeted in the current year.
On the international front, an agreement between Cargolux and Oman Air will see new freighter SanJeet
Editor flights between Muscat and Chennai, turning the latter into a cornerstone for transportation of cargo between India, the Middle East and Europe.