Air cargo is critical to any nation’s economy, according to Gen (Dr) V K Singh, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation. During a seminar hosted by the Foundation for Aviation Sustainable Tourism (FAST), he stated, “We have focused more on passenger traffic than air cargo. I feel that the air cargo ecosystem must become much more efficient to easily achieve the target of 10 million tonnes by 2031. The change in air cargo will come from both the government and the industry working together. By embracing technology, everything can be simplified.”
V.P. Agarwal, former Chairman AAI and VP FAST, stated, “I think the time has come to focus on an important facet of the aviation industry. One of the major drawbacks of our cargo industry is that 6-7 major players are involved in moving products from the manufacturer to transportation to airlines, and each stage has obstacles that cause delays. This aspect, if managed properly through proper integration and regulatory mechanisms, has the potential to bring about positive changes.”
Shri Dushyant Chautala, Deputy CM Haryana, who was Guest of Honour, said, “We saw in covid times how critical role cargo played when we could send medicines and vaccinations in real time, which was not possible via waterways. We foresee India becoming a big player in the cargo industry.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Piyush Srivastava, Sr. Economic Advisor, Ministry of Civil Aviation said, “We need to have a manufacturing base of aircrafts and aircraft components, leasing capability in the country, and the role of drone in cargo industry is only said to expand exponentially. Even our consumers have developed plasticity in their demand. We can begin with having supportive infrastructure. PM Gati Shakti, which is the National Master Plan for Multi-modal Connectivity, is at the heart of infrastructure development.”
Key keynote address was delivered by Shri Yashpal Sharma, President ACFI and MD, Skyways Group and said, “Role of logistics was always there but after covid everyone has got to know how important role logistics plays. In the last 100 years there has been huge growth in countries’ GDP and a major reason is the role played by the airline industry and especially cargo. India stood at 3.14 million tons last year in cargo, which means we are behind even some individual airports of some countries, but it also signifies how great potential we have here.