New Delhi: Provision of comprehensive cargo facilities at new airports will be made mandatory for airport developers, under the provisions of a new air cargo policy being considered by the Government of India. Though greenfield airports, such as that of Hyderabad, are developing such facilities on their own, under provisions of their contract they are not bound to do so.
It is expected that the framework of the new policy will be finalised by the government over the coming three months. Airport developers would also be expected to be responsible for reducing dwell time at airports by speeding up and enhancing ground handling operations and facilities.
Government officials have said earlier that the contents of the new policy framework would be shared with all stakeholders, once finalised.
Total international cargo in the country is expected to go up from 1,020 tonne in 2006-2007 to 1,745 tonne by 2011-2012, marking a growth of more than 70%. Domestic cargo movement by air is also expected to go up 56% from 528 tonne in 2006-07 to 828 tonne in 2011-2012.
The government had asked an inter-ministerial group (IMG) under the chairmanship of civil aviation secretary Ashok Chawla to find ways to reduce dwell time at airports. This initiative was taken keeping in mind the fact that dwelling time for imported cargo in Singapore is 12 hours, while at Delhi airport it is about 165 hours.