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It’s a thumbs-up from industry leaders to the National Air Cargo Policy

PW Bureau

While stressing on the need for air cargo companies to speed up delivery, experts were of the opinion that the policy goes a long way in removing the bottlenecks New Delhi: The National Air Cargo policy outline received a thumbs up from aviation industry leaders who gathered for a panel discussion at the Aviation Conclave 2019 on Wednesday. While stressing on the need for air cargo companies to speed up delivery in an environment where e-commerce companies are connecting remote areas to an online marketplace, experts were of the opinion that the policy goes a long way in removing the bottlenecks that made cargo movement slower and lauded the vision with which it has put into place — of connecting every village to the national and global supply chain. Cyrus Katgara, partner at Jeena and Company, noted that as things stand today, only 1 percent of the total cargo movement in India takes places via air, and added that the air cargo policy is going to push that percentage share up significantly. Tushar Jani, founder of Blue Dart Aviation Ltd, said that at the time he started his career, the dwell time for cargo movement used to be around 21 days, and it has now come down to 52 hours. “This has improved ease of doing business in India and is one of the things that needs to be highlighted,” said Jani.

‘Digitisation is the only choice’

The industry leaders, however, added that the policy needs to place more emphasis on digitisation. Katgara said, “In today’s time, digitization is not an option. It’s the only choice if one wants to connect consumers sitting in tier II and III cities and villages to the online marketplace.” The National Air Cargo Policy outline seeks to leverage the Indian cargo network to provide cargo transportation by air to the masses at an affordable cost and place India among the top five air freight markets by 2025. The focus areas of the policy include regulatory policies in support of air cargo growth, air cargo market strategy, development, security and safety strategy, among others. The policy was unveiled at the Global Aviation Summit in January this year.