Sustainability has been a hot topic for several decades now, and the importance of being environmentally responsible is broadening every single minute. One major cause for concern is Global Climate Change. Well, “The effects of climate change are already stirring on all continents and across the oceans” says the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Irrespective of ones’ agreement on these concepts of climate change and its budding ill-effects, there is a lot of value to be gained both socially and environmentally through sustainable practices by both industries and individuals.
Coming straight to the aviation industry now, well, as a whole this industry has always shared a very bad reputation when it comes to environmental issues. Nope, it’s just not the aircraft operations alone that contribute to the GHG emissions, but there several other indirect activities which occur and add to total emissions. Heating and cooling of the facilities, vehicles driving to and from airports, and several other operational practices together combine and contribute to the airport’s overall carbon footprint.
But, like other industries, today even the aviation sector is doing its part to improve the future through sustainability. Many governments and privately managed airports in India have stepped ahead to the plate with wide-ranging recycling programs, wind turbines, solar panels and much more.
This blog will take you through the top 5 privately managed Green Airport In India.
Airports In India
Indian airports are either managed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) or are managed under Public-Private Partnership (PPP). Around 125 airports in the country are managed by AAI. Many popular airports like Cochin International airport and Delhi International Airport are examples of airport working under the PPP model.
Few of the popular international airports operated under AAI and PPP include:
Airports Authority of India (AAI) Managed Airports
- Chennai International Airport, Chennai
- Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata
- Thiruvananthapuram International Airport
- Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati
- Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel International Airport, Ahmedabad
- Chandigarh International Airport
Public-Private Partnership Managed Airports
- Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi
- Chattrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai
- Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad
- Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru
- Cochin International Airport, Kochi
Top 5 Privately-Managed Green Airport In India
1. Indira Gandhi International Airport – Delhi
The capital’s Indira Gandhi International airport (IGIA), which sees over 65 million passengers annually is truly a benchmark for other airports. This is a subsidiary company of the GMR group and has also been declared the World’s fourth-best airport and APAC’s best-upgraded airport for the Air Service Quality (ASQ) by the Airports Council International in the 15 to 25 million passenger’s categories. Airports Council International (ACI) accorded IGIA with carbon neutral status in 2016, then it became the become the first airport in the Asia-Pacific region to attain carbon neutral status. Additionally, this airport was the first airport in the world to be listed under Clean Development Mechanism of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Environment Sustainable Management is a vital part of the IGIA’s strategy. It mainly focuses on pollution prevention, conservation of natural resources, and skill developments by effectual integration of policy, procedures, system, infrastructures and community supports. IGIA has taken several active initiatives for the protection of the environment. To reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, it has developed an inventory at organizational level which accounts for its GHG emission through Carbon Accounting and Management System.
Countless energy-efficient technologies have been installed in Terminal 3 (T3) of this airport which includes, Energy efficient chillers, chilled water pipe circuit, energy savings through improved insulation in supply air and return air ducts, Solar boundary light system, Solar water heating system and, tempered cooling system. No wonder, IGIA’s Terminal 3 achieved “Platinum” rating from IGBC (Indian Green Building Council), a recognition that made T3 the first “Platinum” rated green airport terminal building in the country under the “Green Existing Building O&M Rating System“.
Another really interesting thing to mention is their unique way to combat air pollution, instead of installing air purifiers, IGIA is using nearly 35000 indoor plants that naturally clean the air from basic pollutants. Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fuel station which helps in significantly reducing emissions and electrically operated baggage buggies and tugs are other initiatives at IGIA Terminal 3.
2. Chattrapati Shivaji International Airport – Mumbai
Located in the commercial capital of India, Mumbai, Chattrapati Shivaji International Airport is the second busiest airport in India. The airport has a goal of being carbon neutral, and this very goal earned it the ISO 14064- 1:2006 accreditation for its Carbon Emissions Accounting.
This green airport in India actively measures, manages, reduces and communicates its significant environmental footprint like as Energy consumption, Greenhouse Gases emissions, Water uses, Air quality, Waste generation, and Noise Levels. The Carbon Accounting and Management System accounts it Direct and indirect emissions, and emissions from employee travel.
Another interesting thing to add here is the innovative method used to cut down the usage of water, Mumbai airport authorities use green bacteria for cleaning which saves them nearly 1 lakh litres of water every day. The airport also has a solar power plant with an approximate capacity of 600 KW installed which is a part of its efforts to cut GHG level.
Reduction in line loss in electrical system, usage of energy-efficient lightings, higher efficiency pumps are other measures that have been undertaken and completed to advance the airport into a sustainable and energy efficient one.
3. Rajiv Gandhi International Airport – Hyderabad
Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) is the winner of the Golden Peacock Awards 2015. This Green Airport in India fit in sustainability and environment protection pretty well in its business dogma.
To sustain the ecological balance at RGIA, 273 hectares green belt has been developed in an area with several plant species. Also, 971 hectares of natural greenery has been left unobstructed. The airport has also achieved energy savings of 3.97million kWh (kilowatt hour) in the last 4 years and successfully reduced around 3331 tons of carbon footprint annually by various energy conservation practices. RGIA also has appropriate wastewater treatment plants and actively endorses environmental awareness.
4. Kempegowda International Airport – Bengaluru
Behind the airports of Mumbai and Delhi, Bengaluru’s international airport is the 3rd busiest airport in the country by passenger traffic. BIAL handled over 22.2 million passengers in the year 2016 with nearly 500 aircraft movements a day. The Airports Council International (ACI) has accredited Kempegowda International Airport with the `Level 3 Plus Neutrality’ certification under Airport Carbon Accreditation.
BIAL has undertaken several innovative green practices and for its eco-friendly, sustainable and energy-efficient design, it received the Gold rating in LEED India from the Indian Green Building Council.
Also, to increase its energy efficiency and lessen its carbon footprint the airport has also applied for the installation of a grid to a 2 Mega Watt solar power plant.
5. Cochin International Airport – Kochi
Cochin International Airport (CIA) was the first greenfield airport constructed with a public-private partnership in India. The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) is an international brand today, well, the credit goes to the rehabilitation package, the enormous public support and of course a sustainable business model.
CIAL is the first “power neutral” airport in the country with the installation of its 12 MW solar photovoltaic power plant which was installed in Aug 2015. This solar plant generates nearly 60,000 kWh of electricity each day, which is officiant for the airports daily operations and makes the airport carbon neutral.
CIAL has also pointedly diversified by setting up 8 Small Hydro Electric projects under the name CIAL Infrastructures Limited which is its subsidiary company. Over decades, CIAL, has rapidly grown to become the 4th largest International Airport in India in terms of international passenger traffic.
The airport recorded a yearly cumulative growth rate of around 20 percent in the first 8 years and subsequently a growth rate of 12% with the twelve-monthly passenger traffic touching 6.4 million in the year 2014-15. The airport handles more than 1100 aircraft movements every week.
So, Why Should Airports Go Sustainable?
In response to the increasing and negative carbon footprint, airport in India and around the world should take active steps to become increasingly sustainable. Almost every facet of air travel, from passenger transport to the airport to facilitate waste removal, should be beleaguered for greener answers. Some of the main areas of focus include:
- Management And Recycling Of Waste
- GHG Emission And Energy Reduction
- Air Quality
- Ground Access And Transportation
- Natural Resource Management
Airport facilities across the country should classify a comprehensive list of sustainability goals envisioned to cut the airport’s impression on the environment, while also dipping costs and refining the airport’s relationship with the local community.
Also, currently the Indian aviation industry it is the 9th largest in the world and is expected to become the 3rd largest by 2020. While this sounds great, one thing that’s alarming is that this growth does pose a great challenge to the environment and its sustainability in the near future. What is needed is a dedication to work towards sustainable development and safeguard environmental health.
Curated by editor at Wienerberger India