Development of green airports in India is not just a fad but a permanent sustainable solution to the increasing demands placed on the aviation infrastructure in the nation. India is amongst the top five fastest growing markets and is set to witness a whopping 266 million additional passengers per year, to see a total of 367 million passengers by 2034. While the growth is prominent, the infrastructure expansion this growth will bring about has a flip side to it – obstructive impact on the environment and nature – causing air, water and noise pollution, landscape deterioration and biodiversity damage. To avoid inflicting irreparable damage to the environment, many stakeholders have made sustainability their focal point, even as India is engaged in building new airports and reinvigorating old ones. One of them is GHIAL, which operates the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) in Hyderabad. The airport became south India’s first and India’s second airport to convert the entire Taxiway Edge Lights from halogen lamps to energy efficient LEDs. Complementing the recently achieved recognition of being a Carbon Neutral Airport (Level 3 + Neutrality), GHIAL is on its green journey of transforming RGIA into a 100 pc LED airport, out of which 75 pc of the work has been already completed. With its mission to move from conventional energy to renewable energy sources for environmental sustenance, the airport had recently commissioned a five MW solar power plant for its captive use. While a significant proportion of the airport’s total daytime energy requirement is met by the solar power plant, now to reduce their carbon footprint even further, RGIA started converting the entire lighting at the airport to LEDs.
The airside, which is the busiest and the most critical area of the airport, had also undergone LED transformation, where close to 500 halogen lamps of Taxiway Edge Lights were converted to LEDs. The lumen level of these LED lights installed at Taxiway Edges meets the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) requirements. Extensive tests and trials were also carried out after the installation of the LED lights and regular observations were collected from pilots.
Conventional lighting lamps like Mercury Vapour (MV), Sodium Vapour (SV) lamps and Fluorescent Lamp (FL) have chemicals such as lead, phosphorus and mercury, which are hazardous to the environment; while on the other hand, LEDs are environmentfriendly, energy-efficient and help in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Speaking on the initiative, SGK Kishore, CEO, GHIAL said, “GHIAL is committed towards fostering a green culture at RGIA. We have been progressively taking steps to transform our airport into a truly green airport. Migration to LED has been a strategic decision for environment sustenance with the objective of reducing carbon emissions and promoting energy efficiency. Very soon we will become 100 pc LED lit airport. At the same time, initiatives such as the installation of the five MW solar power plant helps us to meet a significant amount of the airport’s energy requirement using renewable means. Our pro-active environmentally sensitive measures have helped us earn the coveted Level 3+ Carbon Neutrality recognition from ACI. We are proactively contributing towards building a cleaner and greener future.”