During the last two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, the cargo sector has not just emerged as a promising area for Indian aviation but also for global aviation. From 2013-14, the Indian Cargo Sector has seen a growth rate of 9-10 per cent. Airlines, during the last two years, have witnessed 520 per cent increase in cargo revenue. The Indian Cargo revenue, as of today, stands at Rs 2,000 crore with 3.1 million metric tonnage having a CAGR of 13 per cent. Today, there are 21 international and 35 domestic cargo terminals in the country. Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, at the annual event of Air Cargo Forum India (ACFI), said during the difficult Covid times, Air Cargo had started as an underdog but the industry was able to adapt and change to the new environment. During the Covid times, India had rapidly expanded from having seven to 28 Cargo Freighters in three years.
The minister while talking about the reforms in Cargo Sector, said in order to achieve the 10 million metric ton target in cargo, the industry players need to focus on the transportation of smaller cargo loads from Tier II and Tier III cities of India to metros which can be achieved by the acquisition of aircraft that are smaller in size. In a bid to facilitate this, the government is also establishing as many as 33 new domestic cargo terminals by 2024-2025 which will allow India’s cargo sector to grow and flourish. According to Scindia, India needs to work on ease of doing business in the cargo sector by making processes paperless, adapting automation and digitalization which can make processing of cargo swift.
The Civil Aviation Ministry will be spending around Rs 98,000 crores over a period of four years in terms of establishing new greenfield airports as well as expansion of existing brownfield airports. Out of this, Rs 62,000 crore will be invested by the private sector and an amount of Rs 36,000 crore will be invested by the Indian Government through the Airports Authority of India. Through AAI, the government will expand 42 brownfield airports as well as set up three new greenfield airports while the private sector will establish three new greenfield airports including Navi Mumbai, Mopa and Jewar, and expand seven existing brownfield airports.