GMR Airports Sets Ambitious Targets for Goa’s Air Cargo Sector

goa air cargo

GMR Airports, through its subsidiary GMR Goa International Airport Limited (GGIAL), is setting its sights on revolutionizing air cargo transportation in Goa. Operating the Manohar International Airport in Mopa, GGIAL aims to capture a significant share of the state’s burgeoning air cargo market, particularly focusing on pharmaceutical and perishable goods.

With approximately 46,000 metric tonnes of cargo generated annually in Goa, GGIAL is ambitiously targeting to command 65% of this market within the next two to four years. Thakur Purshottam Singh, the business head for air cargo at GGIAL, expressed confidence in this projection, stating, “We have projected 30,000 metric tonnes in Phase I.” Singh emphasized that the remaining cargo demand could be managed by the port and the inland container terminal developed by Konkan Railway.

Since commencing operations in September last year, Manohar International Airport has already handled 3,000 metric tonnes of international cargo and 2,000 metric tonnes of domestic cargo. Its strategic location near the Maharashtra and Karnataka borders positions it to serve all three states, potentially making it the second-largest air cargo hub in Western India. “We have a good, expandable land parcel where we can really accelerate infrastructure development,” Singh noted, underscoring the airport’s growth potential.

Singh’s recent appointment as chairman of Air Cargo Forum India’s Goa chapter highlights his extensive experience in the air cargo and aviation industry, spanning two decades. He identified a skilled workforce as a critical factor for the sector’s growth. “Skilling is one area where we are lacking,” Singh stated, highlighting the need for workforce development to support the expanding logistics sector. He further noted that the logistics sector could generate significant employment opportunities in IT and transportation, benefiting Goa’s economy.

The state government is also taking proactive steps to support the logistics sector. Industries Secretary Swetika Sachan announced a series of incentives aimed at promoting logistics in Goa, expected to be launched later this year. “We have already drafted the incentives after a few rounds of consultation with stakeholders, and very soon, we will launch the budget approvals,” Sachan said. The industries department has earmarked Rs 25 crore for these incentives, focusing on smaller logistics units to ensure broader participation and local employment.

Sachan highlighted the state’s efforts to address infrastructure challenges, particularly truck terminals and warehouses. A center of excellence for logistics is also planned, although the timeline remains uncertain. “We are in talks with a few associations like CII, which has a National Center of Logistics. We have been making proposals to see how we can take this forward,” she said. Sachan also mentioned the development of a state logistics master plan to streamline the sector and alleviate congestion.

The collaborative efforts of GGIAL and the state government reflect a comprehensive strategy to transform Goa into a significant player in the air cargo industry. With robust infrastructure development, skill enhancement programs, and targeted incentives, Goa is poised to become a logistics powerhouse in the coming years.

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