India releases first-ever air cargo policy

This morning, India released its new air cargo policy – the first air cargo-specific policy for the country –at the Global Aviation Summit in Mumbai.

“We are trying to make a policy for air cargo so that the aviation market can grow, which, in turn, will boost the trade and economy of the country,” said civil aviation minister Suresh Prabhu in the Hindu.

Specifically, the policy aims to elevate India into the world’s top five airfreight markets and develop hubs at all of the country’s major airports by 2025, promote the development of first- and last-mile connectivity programs at gateways and promote code sharing agreement between foreign and Indian carriers, Devdiscourse reported.

“The domestic and international air cargo network will dovetail with the postal network through a common user platform to provide first and last mile connectivity for air cargo,” the Week quoted from the document. “Any air logistics company will be able to connect with the postal network based on a pre-defined connectivity interface. This will connect villages to both the urban domestic market and international markets providing free flow of goods through air cargo.”

India’s economy is the fastest growing in the world, according to the World Bank. In 2018, its economic growth surpassed DHL’s trade barometer forecasts, propelled by its key industries – manufacturing, construction and agriculture.

But infrastructure and policy for airfreight has yet to be outlined in an administrative capacity until now. Prabhu said India’s success in the aviation sector has been “completely propelled” by private players so far. One such example is the  partnership launched in August between the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Deutsche Post DHL Group to improve Indian airports’ preparation for natural disasters.

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