Air travel has increased by leaps and bounds all over the world thereby positively impacting the aviation industry. On the one hand, travelers around the world are broadening their horizons through exploring unique destinations, and on the other, they have become more aware and conscious of climate change issues. To provide climate-friendly air travel, the Indian aviation sector has embarked on an ambitious plan to open over 90 Carbon-Neutral Airports by 2024. The current strength of airports will be increased and the number of airports will be around 220 by next year.
There are a few airports in India that are worth a mention for instance:
- Indira Gandhi International Airport Delhi runs on solar hydropower. The airport authorities have undertaken steps to ensure reduced carbon emissions.
- Cochin International Airport has accomplished a unique feat ie. Of becoming the first ‘green airport’ in the world. Moreover, Kochin International Airport has been bestowed the Champions of Earth award by the United Nation.
- Another airport that has earned an incredible feat is Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport. This is because the airport has been accorded energy-neutral status. Also, the airport’s energy requirement is met through renewable sources.
- One of the busiest airports in India is Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, Mumbai which has received a level 3+ Carbon Neutrality certification. This airport is equipped with solar power systems and ambient quality monitory systems are in place.
Significance of Airports:-
- Airports have a significant role to play regarding issues concerning the environment ranging from biodiversity to air pollution to water management to emissions.
- Understanding the importance of sustainability, the aviation ministry of India has aimed to open over 90 Carbon Neutral airports by the end of 2024.
- Construction of new airports has a huge impact on the environment thereby initiating a debate on climate change and companies aiming for better practices to reduce their carbon footprint.
- Another benchmark set by the Aviation Ministry is to achieve net zero emissions by 2030 which is the right step in the direction to provide eco-friendly air travel to Indian citizens.
The growth in the aviation sector has a direct bearing on the economy of the nation. Earlier air travel was dependent upon the location of the airport but the scenario has changed. The economy of the area in the vicinity of the airport is boosted in many ways. Major business decisions are taken based on the presence of an airport in a particular area. When industrialists or companies set up their offices or workstations, they take into account the distance of the nearest airport as it reduces their travel time. Corporates or heads of organizations place a high emphasis on the presence of the airports as it affects their work schedule. Connectivity to major cities is a foremost concern that many people take into account while setting up their businesses.
With over 400 million passengers traveling in the coming years the infrastructure facilities, airport, cargo, and transport services need to improve and new technologies need to be adopted. Providing the right ecosystem in the aviation sector would initiate the process for eco-friendly air travel. The aviation sector is a fast-growing sector in India thereby impacting the economy in innumerable ways.
Another area of concern is that the more the number of airports more will be the deterioration of air quality and increased noise pollution. The urban environment surrounding the airport is prone to other climatic problems and noise nuisance which sometimes are overlooked. According to the UN Climate Change report on the ‘The Net Zero Airport’, airports worldwide are finding innovative ways to reduce their carbon emission in the coming years. Airlines are adopting new technologies to make their flight more sustainable, eco-friendly and thereby work on reducing emissions.
Embarking on a plan to set up new carbon-neutral airports in India, the aviation sector has geared up in the right direction to work towards an eco-friendly environment.