Union Minister of Civil Aviation Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia today attended the annual event of Air Cargo Forum India (ACFI) as the chief guest. The theme of the annual event was “10 Million: Vision 2030; Stimulating, Scaling, Steering Air Cargo”. Other dignitaries who graced the event were Shri Piyush Srivastava, Senior Economic Advisor, Minister of Civil Aviation, Shri Cyrus Katgara, President, ACFI, Shri Yashpal Sharma, Vice President, ACFI. Besides, Shri Arvind Aggarwal, Shri Arun Sharma from ACFI and other top dignitaries of AFCI and representatives of cargo industry.
During the last 2 years in Covid times, cargo sector has emerged as a promising area not just for Indian aviation but for global aviation. Indian Cargo Sector has seen a growth rate of 9-10% since 2013-14. During the last 2 years, airlines have witnessed 520% increase in cargo revenue. As of today, Indian Cargo revenue stands at INR 2,000 crore with 3.1 million metric tonnage having a CAGR of 13%. Today, India has 21 international and 35 domestic cargo terminals.
Dwelling on the achievement of cargo sector, Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia said, “Air Cargo had started as an underdog during the difficult Covid times but the industry was able to adapt and change to the new environment. During the times of Covid, we have rapidly expanded from having 7 Cargo Freighters to 28 Cargo Freighters in a short period of 3 years.”
Talking about the reforms in Cargo Sector, Minister commented “To achieve the target of 10 million metric ton in cargo, the industry players need to focus on transportation of smaller cargo loads from Tier II & III cities to metros which can be achieved by acquisition of smaller size aircrafts. To facilitate this, we are also establishing 33 new domestic cargo terminals by 2024-2025 which will allow our cargo sector to flourish and grow. We need to work on ease of doing business in cargo sector by making processes paperless, adapting automation, digitalization which can make cargo processing swift.”
The Minister also explained the plan for physical infrastructure for airports which are essential for cargo handling. Ministry of Civil Aviation will be spending close to INR 98,000 crores over 4 years in terms of setting up new greenfield airports and expansion of existing brownfield airports. Out this, INR 62,000 crores will be invested by private sector and INR 36,000 crores will be invested by Government of India through AAI. Government, through AAI, will expand 42 brown field airports and setup 3 new greenfield airports while private sector will expand 7 existing brownfield airports and setup 3 new greenfield airports including Navi Mumbai, Jewar and Mopa. He elaborated on how this has opened opportunities in the country. Shri Scindia gave the example of jackfruit from Tripura which is finding market in UK and Germany while King Chillies and Lemon from Assam are now being supplied to London. This is a classic example of A2A i.e. Agriculture to Aviation, the link of two seemingly unrelated sector being linked due to air infrastructure being made available to remote areas in the country.
Air Cargo Forum India (ACFI) is an association of various stakeholders of Air Cargo Logistic Supply Chain Trade and Industry i.e. Freight Forwarders, Airlines, Airport Operators, Cargo Terminal Operators, Customs House Agents and Express Industry established on 14th September 2012.