New aviation minister to tackle issues

India’s new civil aviation minister, Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati said his ministry recognises the importance of India’s aviation and air cargo sector and will tackle the many problems facing it, but that does not necessarily include privatising troubled state carrier Air India.


New aviation minister to tackle issues


India’s new civil aviation minister, Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati said his ministry recognises the importance of India’s aviation and air cargo sector and will tackle the many problems facing it, but that does not necessarily include privatising troubled state carrier Air India. “There is no doubt that the sector is going through turbulence. There are no simple answers. But the problems will not be wished away — we will deal with them,” he said in an interview with India’s Economic Times.

“Though there is huge growth in passenger and cargo traffic in and from India, we have a log way to go. We are still very behind the world leader in cargo — the US, which carries 23 times more freight per tonne km than India.

Indian cargo aviation has great potential, particularly in agro-based businesses, floriculture, fisheries and allied sectors. So steps are being taken to create stateof- the-art air cargo facilities in 19 major airports.

“Air freight stations are being constructed near airports, which will help decongest them. We are looking to improve the MRO (maintenance repair and overhaul) business. This will bring forex and create jobs. We will also improve remote area connectivity and connectivity to tourist hotspots. For this, we will construct no-frills airports.