India ready to take off as air cargo hub

The In­dian govern­ment has made sig­nif­i­cant ef­forts and with the ac­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion of in­dus­try stake­hold­ers, mak­ing India an air cargo hub is not a dream any­more.

Cargo Talk - - Aircargo -

The coun­try has all the in­gre­di­ents to be a suc­cess­ful air cargo hub, the only need is to im­prove upon its in­fra­struc­ture and cost ef­fi­ciency to make a mark in in­ter­na­tional mar­ket. CARGOTALK tries to ex­plore the im­por­tance of cre­at­ing India as one of the suc­cess­ful trans­porta­tion and con­sol­i­da­tion hubs. Let’s hear the in­dus­try ex­pert’s per­spec­tive on, what the coun­try al­ready has and what else is needed to learn from the suc­cess­ful tran­ship­ment and con­sol­i­da­tion hub over­seas in or­der to make India a suc­cess­ful air cargo hub?

“A suc­cess­ful trans­ship­ment and con­sol­i­da­tion hub not just boost ton­nages of the air­port but also con­trib­utes to growth of var­i­ous an­cil­lary in­dus­tries linked to the air­port,” in­forms SL Sharma, Im­me­di­ate Past Pres­i­dent, ACAAI, in adding, “We can learn a lot from hubs like Hong Kong, Dubai, Sin­ga­pore, Am­s­ter­dam, etc, be it safety and security, suf­fi­cient cargo ca­pac­ity, ef­fi­cient cargo op­er­a­tion, com­pet­i­tive costs, in­fra­struc­ture, IT, pro­cesses and the main be­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion of var­i­ous other forms of trans­port like ocean, rail and land with air cargo.”

Ac­cord­ing to Bharat Thakkar, Past Pres­i­dent and Per­ma­nent Mem­ber - Board of Ad­viser, ACAAI and Founder Joint Manag­ing Direc­tor, Zeus Air Ser­vices, “Get­ting an ef­fi­cient and well planned air cargo hub is not dif­fi­cult, es­pe­cially if we could make Cochin In­ter­na­tional Air­port (CIAL), the first PPP of its kind in India way back in late 90’s and now RGIA/BIAL/T3 on open plot in 36 months and T2 in Mum­bai in 48 months with­out dis­turb­ing the old in­ter­na­tional ter­mi­nal me­ters away.”

Venugopal Bangera, CEO, CSC India says, “To be­come India as an in­ter­na­tional hub, there is a need to con­nect tourists of SAARC coun­tries to var­i­ous in­ter­na­tional des­ti­na­tions via In­dian air­ports such as • Nepal (Kath­mandu), Pak­istan (La­hore) & Afghanistan (Kabul) via Delhi Air­port Sri­lanka via Chen­nai Air­port Bangladesh , Bhutan & Yan­gon via Cal­cutta Air­port Pak­istan (Karachi) , Mal­dives, Mau­ri­tius via Mum­bai Air­port • • •

To have a suc­cess­ful hub-and­spoke model, the theme of ‘bank of flights’ needs to be im­ple­mented. It is also im­por­tant that In­dian car­ri­ers should start us­ing wide body air­crafts to these SAARC coun­tries which will au­to­mat­i­cally lead to more and more pas­sen­gers tak­ing In­dian air­ports for their on­ward des­ti­na­tions and hence air cargo ca­pac­ity will get created from all these sub­con­ti­nents.”

Cyrus Kat­gara, Part­ner, Jeena & Com­pany, says, “The three im­por­tant trans­ship­ment hubs; Dubai, Sin­ga­pore and Hong Kong suc­ceeded be­cause all three were free trade zones. And the key driv­ers for the growth in trans­ship­ment busi­ness were cheaper costs, ease of do­ing busi­ness, crit­i­cal min­i­mum vol­umes which in turn were driven by cheaper costs and ease of do­ing busi­ness.”

Ac­cord­ing to Huned Gandhi, Manag­ing Direc­tor Air & Sea Lo­gis­tics, DACHSER India, “The key fac­tors to at­tract ma­jor airlines in India in­cludes ef­fi­cient and time-bound han­dling pro­cesses for trans­ship­ment car­goes with turn­around time (TAT), costs and stream­lined reg­u­la­tory pro­cesses.”

San­deep Harit, Manag­ing Direc­tor, Movex Ser­vices, feels, “Air­ports in India were de­vel­oped pri­mar­ily from the pas­sen­ger stand­point, so we must learn from over­seas hubs that cargo in­fra­struc­ture is much more than the cargo ter­mi­nal, but also in­cludes spe­cial fa­cil­i­ties for express freight, tem­per­a­ture-con­trolled goods, air­mail and haz­ardous goods. The de­vel­op­ment of cargo vil­lages is es­sen­tial for India’s ma­jor air­ports to make these a

suc­cess­ful cargo hub.”

Talk­ing about the lo­ca­tion, Thakkar says, “Navi Mum­bai of­fers a gate­way for ma­jor ex­ports/im­ports and serves three ma­jor lo­ca­tions of south­west, north­west and mid west man­u­fac­tur­ing cor­ri­dors.”

Estab­lish­ing and oper­at­ing an in­ter­na­tional air cargo hub in India re­quires a ded­i­cated core group of de­ci­sion mak­ing officials from the min­istries sup­ple­mented by ex­pe­ri­enced in­dus­try play­ers. Thakkar listed few chal­lenges that are the road­block to trans­ship­ment busi­ness at In­dian air­ports: Policy Anom­alies: • New har­monised and sim­pli­fied trans­ship­ment pro­ce­dures and clearance pro­ce­dures at ICD’s/ CFS’s/air cargo ter­mi­nals is re­quired to pro­mote in­ter­na­tional air cargo trade. Strin­gent pro­ce­dures caus­ing de­lays for ship­ments Lib­er­al­i­sa­tion of truck­ing norms GST im­ple­men­ta­tion Ex­port-Im­port im­bal­ance need to be ad­dressed bonded Lack of strong re­gional con­nec­tiv­ity: • Frag­mented trans­porta­tion net­work re­duces re­li­a­bil­ity of air cargo sup­ply chain Trans­porta­tion sys­tems link­ing the man­u­fac­tur­ing units to high­ways that fur­ther link air­ports Ded­i­cated cargo air­crafts con­nect­ing ma­jor gate­way ports and re­gional air­ports Con­nec­tiv­ity be­tween air cargo fa­cil­i­ties and ICD’s/CFS’s High speed road and con­nec­tiv­ity to air­ports re­quired In­ter-con­ti­nen­tal con­nec­tiv­ity need to be pro­moted • • • rail is

Higher dwell times: Av­er­age trans­ship­ment cargo han­dling dwell time is 10-12 hours as per the pro­ce­dure de­fined by reg­u­la­tors glob­ally. Cur­rent pro­ce­dure in India needs re­fine­ment to bring down the dwell time.

In­fra­struc­ture aware­ness: Local and in­ter­na­tional aware­ness about the in­fra­struc­ture and IT de­vel­op­ments be­ing car­ried out at In­dian air cargo fa­cil­i­ties. In­ter­ven­tion of govern­ment, min­istry and reg­u­la­tors: • Ef­fec­tive co­or­di­na­tion across

var­i­ous govern­ment agen­cies

The NCAP per­mits 100 per cent FDI in Green­field Projects and 74 per cent FDI in Brown­field Projects un­der au­to­matic route An in­ter­na­tional air cargo hub re­quires a ded­i­cated group of de­ci­sion mak­ing officials from the min­istries and ex­pe­ri­enced in­dus­try play­ers

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