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AAI’s list of 24 airports draws on the lines of a recent cargo terminal opened at the Mangalore airport. Photo: Bloomberg
AAI’s list of 24 airports draws on the lines of a recent cargo terminal opened at the Mangalore airport. Photo: Bloomberg

AAI spots 24 airports for cargo terminals

The aviation ministry has directed AAI to draw up plans to develop cargo terminals across the country

New Delhi: The aviation ministry has directed state-owned Airports Authority of India (AAI) to draw up plans to develop cargo terminals across the country, an official statement said. The direction by aviation secretary Ashok Lavasa came after a review of AAI earlier this week.

The authority has already identified 24 airports which can host domestic cargo terminals on the lines of a recent cargo terminal opened at the Mangalore airport. The Mangalore terminal has 1,400sq.mt. set apart for international cargo and 1,100sq.mt. for domestic cargo. It has an annual holding capacity of 5,000 tonnes for international import cargo, 13,000 tonnes for export cargo, 18,000 tonnes for domestic in-bound cargo and 21,000 tonnes for domestic out-bound cargo.

Cargo accounts for about 10% of airlines’ revenue. About 35% of the value of goods traded internationally is transported by air. In the year ended March 2014, airports in the country together handled 2.28 million tonnes of cargo, 4% more than previous year. At a growth rate of 5% by 2017-18, it is forecast to touch 2.8 million tonnes. At a growth rate of 8.2% beyond 2017-18, it could touch 4.14 million tonnes by 2022-23.

In his address to Parliament on 9 June, President Pranab Mukherjee said infrastructure would be a key area of the new government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Low-cost airports would be developed to promote air connectivity to smaller towns, Mukherjee had added.

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