Green Aviation Policy For India Yet To Be Formulated, Says Minister

Green India - Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri - Aviatorsbuzz
Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri addressing a media briefing on Thursday. Source: MoCA

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has not formulated any policy on green aviation, Hardeep Singh Puri, Union minister of state (Independent Charge) for Civil Aviation, told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

White Paper on Green Aviation Policy Prepared

A white paper on National Green Aviation Policy dated February 19, 2019 has been published with inputs from key aviation stakeholders including the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Directorate General of Civil Aviation, airport operators, airlines, air navigation service providers, ground handling agencies and The Energy and Resources Institute, the minister told the House.

Going Green: Solar Energy in 51 Airports

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has commissioned solar energy plants with a combined capacity to generate 44.87 megawatt power at 51 airports, Mr. Puri said in Rajya Sabha on March 24.

AAI is adding another 15.76 MW of solar power capacity at six airports. In Karnataka, AAI is adding a solar power plant of 8 MW capacity at Hubli airport.

Solar power generated will be distributed to other airports in Karnataka such as the ones in Belagavi, Ballari, Mysuru, Mangaluru and Bengaluru to meet their electricity requirements, the minister added.

Green Etihad - aviatorsbuzz
Representational photograph of an Etihad Airways, Boeing’s 2020 ecoDemonstrator programme used sustainable fuel throughout testing, including a 50/50 blend of sustainable and traditional fuel on a transcontinental operational efficiency flight. Source: Etihad

The aviation industry worldwide burns 65 billion gallons of jet fuel producing 750 million tons of carbon dioxide. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has committed to capping their carbon footprint at the 2020 level, while creating a substantial reduction by 2050. While these goals are ambitious, the aviation industry has rallied around sustainability and is currently developing the requisite technology for achieving these goals.

The key to sustainability, according to experts like Vikram Mittal who wrote in Forbes is replacing petroleum-based jet fuel with a more sustainable alternative. The likely long-term candidate for replacing jet fuel is hydrogen. Hydrogen offers numerous benefits over traditional jet fuel, especially that the only by-product of combustion is water.

Additionally, a kilogram of hydrogen has three times the energy of a kilogram of jet fuel, he wrote. With these benefits in mind, Airbus recently announced that it is developing a concept aircraft, termed the ZEROe airplane, which will be powered completely by hydrogen. This aircraft will have a prototype developed by 2035.

 

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