The Airports Authority of India (AAI) identified these airports for development of dedicated cargo terminals like those at Coimbatore, Trichy and Mangalore, at a review meeting chaired by civil aviation secretary Ashok Lavasa recently in New Delhi.
"The secretary directed AAI to draw up plans for creating such cargo terminals across the country in sync with the government's plans to establish a national logistics network for faster movement of cargo goods," said a senior official.
"Currently, one or two non-scheduled cargo flights land at Ahmedabad in a week. The dedicated cargo terminal will require infrastructure development as well including inventory capacity building," said R K Singh, airport director.
In 2013-14, city airport handled 51,637 tonne of cargo including gold and silver with over 60% of cargo coming from domestic sector. The cargo at city airport is essentially managed by Gujarat State Exports Cargo Ltd (GSECL).
Terminal 3 which has been lying vacant at city airport is expected to be used for cargo terminal. "All airlines have some or the other arrangements for handling cargo and charge different rates. A dedicated cargo terminal will streamline all the process and rates. This step will definitely boost cargo movement," said Samir Mankad, director, GSECL.
The decision was taken in the backdrop of the recently-created cargo terminal buildings at Coimbatore and Trichy. The AAI has also established separate international and domestic cargo facilities at the Mangalore airport. Similar facilities will be developed at 24 airports too.
Air cargo represents an average of about 10% of the airline industry's revenue and about 35% of goods traded globally is transported by air.
In 2013-14, all operational airports taken together had handled two million metric tonnes (MT) of cargo — 1.4 MT international and 0.8 million MT domestic — registering a 4% growth over the previous year.
According to a study by AAI on air cargo in India, at a growth rate of 5% by 2017-18, air cargo is expected to touch 2,79, 6000 MT in the country and at the rate of 8.2%, it is may touch 4,14,2000 MT by 2022-23.
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