Speaking at the civil aviation show ‘WINGS India 2018’, held from March 8 to 10 in Hyderabad, the Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mr. Jayant Sinha said that the air cargo industry has high potential to be developed as a major industry and economy enabler like the passenger aviation industry. In his opinion, there is a need for a collaborative, consultative and a comprehensive approach between the private sector air cargo and logistics industry and the government.
Organized by FICCI jointly with the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Airport Authority of India, the theme of the four-day biennial event of this year was ‘India-Global Aviation Hub’. WINGS INDIA 2018 is a platform for interactions, forging alliances, investments and air connectivity between the States and the global aviation players and stakeholders. The event was attended by senior ministers of Telangana Government and senior officials of Ministry of Civil Aviation, DGCA, AAI and representatives from FICCI and other industry stakeholders.
“The need of the hour is a solution-centric approach to creating a best in world-class industry. That government will play a facilitator role in regulation and policy and initiatives are already underway for a comprehensive involvement of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Department of Revenue,” said Mr Sinha citing the fact that the air cargo industry ships about 3.7 lakh metric tonnes goods every year. The primary sectors are agri and food products, pharmaceuticals, leather and textiles. The sector is growing at about 15 per cent per annum.
Meanwhile, for simplifying air cargo movement, two e-freight portals were launched, which are among the first in the world. It was also announced at WINGS India that a committee under the chairmanship of the Cabinet Secretary has taken an important step towards removal of detained cargo within 120 days from airports. This will help create more infrastructure and physical space for cargo at airports in the country.
According to the Civil Aviation Ministry sources, today, 65 per cent of air cargo, including domestic and international are moved by top 10 airlines and the vast majority of air cargo is concentrated at the top 10 airports of the country. The forward-looking agenda of the government would be to distribute the shipment of air cargo to regional airports.
Also attended the roundtable on Cargo and Logistics industry at WINGS India 2018 was Ms. Vandana Aggarwal, Economic Advisor, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India and industry experts.
Summing up the deliberations, Ms. Aggarwal also emphasized on skill development by saying that assessors, students, trainers and curriculum were integral aspects in this regard. “Though training the trainer programmes were being organized but the need was to scale them up,” she maintained.
Earlier speaking at the inauguration of WINGS India 2018, Civil Aviation Secretary Mr. R.N Choubey said that the Government was committed to connecting the cities and towns to increase regional connectivity in the country and emphasised that oil prices needed to remain soft, below $80 a barrel for the sector to grow at a CAGR of 15 per cent for the next 20 years.
The four-day event witnessed the presence of 125 exhibitors and 35 CEOs. WINGS India 2018 also had representation from 10 countries. Besides the conference and exhibition, Roundtables on Tourism, Cargo and Logistics, Skills and G2B & B2B meetings were scheduled to cover wide area of the civil aviation sector. More than 300 B2B meetings were scheduled during the event. The conference also focused on fostering partnership to transform Indian aviation and the role of conducive regulatory framework to facilitate growth of civil aviation market.
Coinciding with WINGS India 2018, FICCI also launched its maiden edition of ‘WINGS INDIA AWARDS’ for Excellence in the aviation sector. The awards were conferred upon the Aviation-related Companies/Institutions/Organizations in 14 categories. Celebi Delhi Cargo Terminal Management and Air India SATS Airport Services were felicitated for Best Air Cargo Service Providers.