Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

Efforts On To Bring Down Aviation Carbon Footprint

July 26, 2022
Global Travel Emission_Aviation

Ministry of Civil Aviation is taking a number of steps to reduce carbon footprint not only at the Indian airports but also from the passenger airlines flights to and from domestic and international destinations.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Civil Aviation (Gen. (Dr) V. K. Singh (Retd) has said that CO2 emissions have drastically reduced in 2020 as compared to that till 2019. While the CO2 emissions from passenger airlines at domestic destinations stood at 11843 thousand tons in 2019, it got reduced to 6023 thousand tons in 2020.

Similarly CO2 emissions from passenger airlines travelling to and from international destinations were 7057 thousand tons in 2019 as compared to 3194 thousand tons in 2020.

The Minister said that these figures were compiled by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) based on the information received from the Indian scheduled carriers. The CO2 emissions have increased till 2019 and declined in the year 2020.

However, carbon dioxide emissions increased by 63.5 per cent from 11,560 thousand tons in 2012 to 18,900 thousand tons in 2019.
Incidentally, Covid pandemic hit the aviation sector hard in 2020 with passenger flights being cut down in a big way.

According to the information from the Ministry of Civil Aviation, as part of the measures taken to address and reduce the carbon footprint at the airports, efforts were being made to replace non-renewable energy sources with renewable energy sources like hydro, solar panels and wind, rationalization of operating times/procedures, use of alternative fuels in ground handling vehicles and other such measures.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has also written to the operators of all the brownfield airports with scheduled operations and developers of the upcoming greenfield airports advising them to work towards achieving Carbon neutrality and Net Zero, to get accreditation by Airports Council International (ACI/ISO 14064 through empaneled verifiers) and to adopt Carbon mitigation measures as well as Carbon management plans.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has taken initiatives such as Energy Intensity Data publication aimed at reducing energy intensity for existing as well as upcoming airport projects. Further, a training module has been created as a part of an induction training programme for Air Traffic controllers to sensitize them toward Carbon neutrality.

Measures taken by airlines to reduce carbon footprint include reduction of unwanted weight of aircraft, avoiding moisture/dirt accumulation on aircraft, proper speed and flap management etc.

In addition to the above, AAI in consultation with the Indian Air Force has optimized airspace utilization under Flexible Use of Airspace (FUA) resulting in reduction of CO2 emission.

The airports have also taken a number of measures to promote renewable energy, which includes the use of solar energy to meet electricity demands.

According to reports India’s carbon dioxide emissions are seen peaking between 2040 and 2045, before sliding downward. The pace of the post-peak decline will depend on the availability of technologies in areas including energy, industry and agriculture.