India’s air cargo working group submits report

It was December 2010 that India’s Civil Aviation Economic Advisory Council (CAEAC) decided to bring about changes in the countries air cargo sector. The industry had just weathered global recession and almost every aviation stakeholder had come to the realisation that it was cargo that brought in the money – hence the sudden emphasis on enhancing infrastructure for the sector. Manfred Singh reports.


India’s air cargo working group submits report


Keeping in view the projected rapid growth in air freight, the CAEAC set up a Working Group on Air Cargo and Express Service Industry to recommend a slew of policy initiatives for the sector. In fact, the terms of reference for the working group were clear: The group would assess the growth potential of air cargo in the country while identifying areas that require further improvements to seize the emerging opportunities in international trade and in the context of faster pace of economic growth in India. Headed by M Kannan, Economic Advisor, Ministry of Civil Aviation, the working group held seven meetings through 2011 with stakeholders comprising civil aviation and airline officials, cargo carriers, aircraft manufacturers and airports. The 120-page report, submitted recently has, according to Dr Nasim Zaidi, Secretary, Civil Aviation, “in-depth analyses of issues and comprehensive coverage of key aspects of the air cargo business” that would “lead to specific actionable points with timelines for implementation”. That the first of its kind report was a well-conceived exercise was pointed out by Tulsi N Mirchandaney, managing director, Blue Dart Aviation: “It has highlighted the issues and aspirations of our sector. We look forward to an equally aggressive implementation process.”