December 17, 2016 9:19:39 pm
An improved cargo movement will benefit farmers and the Union Civil Aviation Ministry is focussing on strategies in this direction, Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said on Saturday. “The government wants to double the income of farmers. We think that cargo will play an important role here. Transport should not become a bottleneck for farmers who are producing quality goods which have a good demand in market,” said the Minister.
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“Two things — cargo and freight — will play an important role in this and we are trying to concentrate on it,” Raju said. “We have created a subsidiary of Airport Authority of India (AAI). They are focussed on strategies on how to develop cargo movement through airlines,” Raju told reporters at Dabolim airport here.
The Minister conceded that in India, civil aviation activity has been limited mostly to passenger segment. “We need to expand now. In India, the movement of cargo through airlines is hardly existing because you have only two airlines and three aircrafts as compared to hundreds of aircrafts in other countries,” he added.
“We need to develop the cargo movement using airlines. The business has to see an opportunity here. The genuine concerns will be to reduce the dwell time. The best dwell time globally is two hours, if you have time of 72 hours then perishable goods are gone,” the minister said.
“On the other side trade and industry needs to get interested. We need to motivate everyone,” Raju said, adding, “This fiscal the ministry is expecting growth in aviation sector to be more than 20 per cent. We are the largest growing country in the world now in aviation sector.”
“We are concentrating on rural connectivity. New destinations will come as part of our UDAN initiatives,” Raju said. “The ministry is also working on having market driven model for airports under which there will be 50 such airports throughout the country,” Raju said, adding, the airport has multiplier effect on economy.
About airports which are non performing, the minister said, “These are basically difficult areas which will be connected to the main airports. There are 30 airports which are ready but there is no activity.”
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