India to fast track airfreight stations

India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation has fast tracked creation of airfreight stations (AFS), an off-airport common user facility, to handle air cargo across the country.


India to fast track airfreight stations


India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation has fast tracked creation of airfreight stations (AFS), an off-airport common user facility, to handle air cargo across the country. The AFS will help in penetration of international air cargo activities into manufacturing and consumption clusters located in the hinterland, as well as decongest air cargo terminals. Better planning by airlines for export will be facilitated, as advance information about Customs clearance will now be available.

The idea is to cut down transaction costs for companies, improve productivity, efficiency and enhance competitiveness. By providing AFS closer to production/consumption hubs, the air cargo industry would get the required support and boost, according to industry players. The concept of AFS was first introduced seven years ago in Chennai to help customers take delivery of cargo in one or two days, but it failed to take off owing to absence of an integrated approach involving all connected agencies.

The new government wants to revive the project with a few changes and this was recently discussed at an Air Cargo Logistic Promotion Board meeting in Delhi, with a draft guideline subsequently prepared by MoCA on AFS and under circulation with various stakeholders.