Cochin International Airport is breaking barriers when it comes to sustainability – something rare in the area of aviation and something that the industry as a whole is now striving for and has a long way to go. It was the first green airport in the world after generating its power from solar energy.
Now, it has become power surplus – a big feat for one of the busiest airports in India. The many sustainable efforts by Cochin International Airport are quite commendable and inspiring.
Cochin Airport and Solar Power
Cochin International Airport runs its entire operations on solar power. To put it in perspective, it is the largest airport in Kerala. It is one of the largest airports in India as per passenger traffic. It is considerably large in size too. Its runway is more than 3 km long. And it can accommodate all kinds of aircraft.
Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) is a public-private partnership. It had taken some key decisions way back in 2013 about investing in green power. CIAL had installed a solar power station on the Arrival Terminal’s rooftop. Then it continued to install more solar panels at the airport. It achieved power neutrality in 2015 itself. Now, the airport has a surplus of power! So, CIAL has essentially reversed its carbon footprint. Instead of contributing to carbon emissions, it is kind of offsetting it. With more than 46000 solar panels, Cochin Airport is likely to have close to 60000 units of power available per day for its operations.
This is significant because –
In the aviation sector, it is not only the airlines that are the sources of major emissions. Airports’ ground operations are also big contributors towards it. Airports are, essentially, big industrial hubs – handling passenger traffic and cargo, and of course, are the center of airlines’ operations. A sustainable airport, thus, is integral to green initiatives of the aviation industry as a whole. And in this regard, Cochin International Airport, kind of rules the roost.
But this is not all –
CIAL has been quite creative and enterprising when it comes to its sustainable efforts. For instance, it has invested in agro-photovoltaic (agrisolar) projects also. As there is considerable space between solar panels; the same has been utilized to grow pesticide-free vegetables – some 90 metric tons of it!
Inspired by Cochin Airport’s feat; other airports are also striving towards producing renewable energy. Recently, Delhi Airport had conducted its entire operations using solar and hydro power.
In closing –
CIAL has now spread its sustainable net in other parts of Kochi and rest of Kerala also. It is now pioneering sustainable energy projects (both solar and hydro) in various other parts of the state. It is also saving close to ₹ 800,000 every month by way of electricity bills due to its use of solar power. Sustainable efforts by Cochin International Airport are quite pioneering not only in India but at the world stage too.
So, now when you take flights to Kochi, know that you will arrive at a green and power-surplus airport. You can book your tickets to the city or anywhere in India, anytime, at economical rates via Indian Eagle.