Key action steps
a) Strengthen the Air Cargo Logistics Promotion Board (ACLPB): ACLPB can help in the organised growth of this sector by enabling policies and facilitating planned development of air cargo hubs in the country. b) Air cargo to be afforded infrastructure
status as per the draft NCAP 2016. c) Introduce the concept of Cargo Village at all hub airports. This would help consolidate all agencies, regulators, service providers and functionalities within the airport’s cargo facility and decongest the cargo terminals. d) Assist in formulating the Quality of Service (QoS) parameters for various stakeholders in the air-cargo supply chain including objectives such as reduction of cargo dwell time to below 24 hours by December 2016 and six hours by December 2017. e) Facilitate development of Air Freight Stations (AFS) - AFS was conceived as a means to reduce congestion in the airport premises, by permitting transfer of cargo to customs notified freight stations. f) Facilitate expansion of cargo fleet: Freighter aircrafts play a vital role in increasing the cargo throughput of the country. There is no consistent policy for allotment of dedicated facilities at any of the airports for dedicated cargo aircrafts. There is lack of dedicated terminal space and facilities for express airlines with limited scope for adequate expansion. Restriction on night operations and high lease rentals has made setting cargo aircraft operations a costly proposition. There is an urgent need for policy support and robust infrastructure to ensure efficient freighter operations in the country. g) Dedicated cargo airports can be developed to ensure that cargo gets priority. These airports would allow peak operation during night hours, have good connectivity with transport infrastructure and would be close to industrial areas to ensure a critical customer base for cargo. g) Extend Risk Management System
(RMS) facility for exports: RMS has shown excellent results on the imports side. Customs authorities should consider introducing RMS for exports at the earliest possible, to minimise congestion on the apron and the resultant damage and/or pilferage. h) Simplify customs processes and documentation through full adoption of EDI (Electronic Data Interchange): Customs should go for full EDI adoption for import/export registration, clearance, drawback and e-payment of duty. This might release considerable manpower/ man-hours in the existing pool, which can contribute in part for 24x7 operations. i) Customs and security policies and procedures for transshipment differ at various airports. There is an urgent need for standardisation of the same. j) A major thrust towards migrating to paperless environment can come from the proposed e-freight initiative of IATA being adopted in other countries.