Infrastructure 6 years from int’l standards

Although a number of air cargo terminals have been approved for construction by Indian authorities over the last few months, the country¡¯s infrastructure is expected to take between three to six years to modernise and reach international standards.

According to H S Bhatia, chief executive officer of the Transport Corporation of India (TCI), a supply chain and logistics solutions provider, India’s transport networks are in dire need of an overhaul if the country’s freight markets are to grow.

“Approximately 80 per cent of India’s international air cargo is transported from just four airports that are equipped with international air cargo terminals – Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai – even though the expansive country has 454 airports and airstrips,” he told Payload Asia in an interview.

“The cargo traffic handled by the four airports is miniscule compared with the freight volumes handled in other major countries,” Bhatia says.

Major commodities exported as air cargo from India are sophisticated machinery components, pharmaceuticals, dyes, chemicals and perishables such as fruit, flowers, vegetables, fish and meat. Major air cargo import items for India include small packages, capital equipmentand technology goods.

New airport projects Recently, the Union government approved the creation of a joint venture firm, comprising Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Maharashtra government, to construct a multi-modal cargo hub at the Nagpur airport.

The decision, taken by the Union Cabinet, would enable the government to transfer the land owned by the AAI to the firm that is a JV between the state-owned airports body and public sector Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC), for creation of this hub.