As India looks to become the world’s third largest air travel market by 2024, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) – notwithstanding the precarious financial situation the coun try’s carriers face – the government has understood that logistics and cargo will be the biggest growth-driven sectors in the country after services. Air cargo at Indian airports in 2017-18 saw a 12.7 per cent growth. Financial year 2018 witnessed 3.35 million metric tonnes of cargo traffic. Reports indicate that international cargo constitutes around 60 per cent of the country’s total cargo industry that was almost double the growth rate of domestic cargo.
Following up, the government has adopted a multi-pronged approach that aims to boost cargo. The present government has only a few months since general elections are due to be held in India in April or May 2019.
Minister of Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu has been speaking about a new Integrated Logistics and Air Cargo Policy that has been in the making for some time now that will be released “very soon”. Though no firm date has yet been announced for the announcement of the policy, he has emphasised that the policy would seek to bring solutions for agriculture and manufacturing and their exports. What is more important, the Minister stressed, was the basic objective of the logistics and cargo policy and that the context was “important and significant rather than t