Most Indian airports will become carbon neutral by December 2024 and achieve Net Zero emissions by 2030, according to a senior official of ministry of civil aviation.
Rubina Ali, joint secretary with the ministry, had written to the CEOs of the private airports and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) asking them to submit a plan to achieve net zero.
“Airports have now submitted the plan and we will keep monitoring it. While many airports have already working towards environment friendly measures, we want to ensure everyone does. The aviation minister has special focus on green airports, and we will be able to achieve that,” a senior ministry official told .
MoCA had collected carbon emission data from the airports followed with a knowledge sharing session on airport carbon emission and mapping to standardize carbon accounting and reporting framework of Indian airports and to create awareness on climate change mitigation targets and measures.
“GMR was the knowledge partner for this as they have already taken a number of initiatives. Other airports are also doing their bit, and we hope to achieve the target as per schedule submitted by them,” the official added.
GMR-led Delhi International Airport Limited has already become Asia Pacific’s first Level 4+ (Transition) accredited airport under ACI’s airport carbon accreditation program.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) had received the Energy Efficient Unit certification by the Confederation of India Industry (CII) for sustainable and green initiatives – particularly in assessing the reduction in specific energy consumption, innovation in identifying and implementing energy-saving projects, green supply chain, waste management, GHG Emission and climate change initiatives.
“Airports in India are already at the forefront by adopting various measures to reduce emissions, such as renewable energy development and its usage, development of green infrastructure, improving energy efficiency an airport operation to ensure resource conservation and emission reduction. To further strengthen the emission reduction measures at the airports, all airports are advised to work towards Carbon Neutrality & Net Zero in a phased manner and take up the carbon emissions reduction initiatives,” Ali’s letter said.
Airport operators will adopt carbon accounting, verification/accreditations in line with ISO-14064/ AC airport carbon accreditation program through empanelled verifiers.
“All airports (must) adopt carbon management plans in their existing operation and ongoing airport expansion. All airport operators to adopt Carbon Mitigation Measures as their milestones with definite time frame,” the letter reads.
Airports Authority of India (AAI) has also installed solar power plants under net metering/captive mode at various airports for generation and self-consumption of green and renewable energy. In addition, few airports are procuring green energy through open access.
At Delhi airport, around 40,000 air purifying plants have been put inside the three-terminal buildings of the airport to clean the indoor air. Nearly 3.9 million square feet within the IGI Airport premises is covered with plants and shrubs.
The focus areas for GMR are – energy efficiency and conservation, green infrastructure, operational efficiency measures, airline programs, green transportation, development of carbon sinks, and continuing Airport Council Internationals’ (ACI) Airport Carbon Accreditation program among others.
DIAL has also adopted the initiative to become a “single-use plastic-free airport”, and was certified by a third-party agency.
Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), operator of Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (BLR Airport), consumes nearly 100% renewable electricity (70 Mn units), leading to largely Zero Scope 2 emissions (50000 MT of carbon emissions reduction).
Over the last decade, BIAL has implemented many best practices to achieve the organisation’s sustainability goals and has been at the forefront in driving sustainable aviation.