Cargo operators seek exclusive air cargo zones around international airports

New Delhi: The air cargo industry has asked the government to provide for a designated area around major international airports, for exclusive use as air cargo terminals. The industry has asked the government to provide land near the international airports in Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi and Bangalore to set up air freight stations.

The industry has also asked the government to allow cargo terminals to be set up only in consultation with cargo agents. It is expected that such terminals will enable exporters and importers to cut transaction costs and save time spent on freight movement.

With Indian freight traffic expected to record growth of more than 20% per annum, industry sources said, the need for agent-bonded terminals is growing significantly.

According to industry experts, these terminals serve as a common user facility, offering handling and warehousing services for both export and import of goods. They serve as a cargo hub where customs clearances can be sought by freight forwarders.

An added advantage is that as they are located outside the main airport, they also help in decongesting airport traffic.

Among other activities, air freight stations would help in the receipt and despatch of cargo, transit operations by rail/road to, and from, serving ports and customs clearance.