Will India start a new domestic cargo network?

AAI India logo-smallIndia’s state-run Airports Authority of India (AAI) has said it is considering making “minor modifications” to several airports around the country to develop a domestic cargo network.

In a report from The Economic Times in India, AAI Chairman RK Srivastava was quoted as saying the agency had an objective “to create the basic infrastructure at its airports which have potential for air cargo growth.” He added that domestic cargo business nationwide grew by 10 percent last year, while international business rose by five percent over the same period.

While Srivastava gave few details about the project and provided no definite time frame, he said AAI plans to select as many as 24 “redundant” or “underutilized” domestic passenger terminals and convert them into common-user cargo facilities. The centralized common-user plan, AAI said, would help increase security compared to the current system, in which cargo is handled by individual airlines in separate facilities.

Currently, he said, three airports – Jaipur, Lucknow and Coimbatore – have already begun initial equipment renovations to move forward with the plan. The rest, he added, would begin “in a couple of years.”

At present, AAI manages international air cargo terminals at airports in the cities of Chennai, Kolkata, Coimbatore, Amritsar, Guwahati, Lucknow, Trichy and Mangalore. The agency also provides domestic cargo handling at Lucknow, Jaipur and Port Blair, and takes part in joint-venture cargo operations at Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Cochin and Nagpu.

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