AAI plans cargo complexes at all 24 airports in the country

Airports Authority of India is drawing up plans to develop domestic cargo terminals throughout the country and all the 24 airports in the country have been identified for development of such domestic cargo terminals, civil aviation secretary Ashok Lavasa said while reviewing the functioning of the AAI.

This is in sync with the government's plan for development of air cargo facilities throughout the country and development of national logistics network for faster movement of cargo goods, he said.

Improving efficiency in the existing infrastructure is a continuous process and the addition of infrastructure will also be planned and put in place where ever feasible, he added.

In this continuation, he cited the recent development of cargo terminal buildings at Coimbatore and Trichy. Similar facilities will be established at other airports also, he said.

Airports Authority of India had recently established cargo facility at Mangalore airport with an area of 1,400 sqm for international cargo and 1,100 sqm for domestic cargo thereby providing an annual holding capacity of 5,000 tonnes for international import cargo, 13,000 tonnes for export cargo, 18,000 tonnes for domestic in-bound cargo and 21,000 tonnes for domestic out-bound cargo.

AAI informed that in all 24 airports have been identified for development of such domestic cargo terminals.

Air cargo represents about 10 per cent of the airline industries' revenue. About 35 per cent of the value of goods traded internationally is transported by air.

Transport and logistics industries are closely related so far as growth and development of economy is concerned and with a boom in economic activity, demand for transport and logistics is sure to go up.

Further, with globalisation and present trends of international marketing boom in the industry, it is expected to boost the cargo traffic both in urban and semi-urban areas.

The civil aviation ministry had setup a working group to study air cargo logistics in India and had released the report in May 2012. The report says there is strong relationship between growth in international trade and logistics infrastructure.

During the year 2013-14, all operational airports taken together maintained a freight handling capacity of 2 million tonne (1.4 million tonne international and 0.8 million tonne domestic).

Total freight handled by the airports, however, stood higher at 2.28 million tonnes, which indicates an increase of 4 per cent over the previous year. At a growth rate of 5 per cent by 2017-18, it is forecast to touch 2.8 million tonnes and at a growth rate of 8.2 beyond 2017-18, it is forecast to touch 4.14 million tonnes by 2022-23.