90 airports in India to be carbon neutral by 2024: Aviation minister

The number of airports in the country has gone up to 141 from 74 and this will grow up to 220 in the next five years

Indigo fuel leak at Patna

New Delhi: The ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) is working on a plan to make more than 90 airports carbon neutral by year 2024, said Union minister for civil aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia, adding that the number of airports will also be increased to 220 by next year from the current strength of 141.

Kochi and Delhi airports are already carbon-neutral and out of the 110 airports under the Airports Authority of India (AAI), 93- 94 will be made carbon-neutral by 2024 to achieve the aim of making the sector zero emissions by 2030.

“Civil aviation is a highly visible sector, it’s a very high-profile sector which attracts a lot of attention, but if you look at its contribution to greenhouse gases and carbon emissions.. it is very small… two percent of carbon emissions of the world,” Scindia said at the national convention of the All India Management Association on Tuesday.

“Indian airports will not just achieve the net zero target by 2030, but will likely have over 400 million passengers by then. At present, we have over 200 million domestic and international passengers. But to handle the increase in passengers, the infrastructure on the ground has to be improved and increased,” said the minister.

The number of airports in the country has gone up to 141 from 74 and this will grow up to 220 in the next five years. “The one thing that is scarce for every human being is time. No longer do we have the luxury of traveling for nine-10 hours, spending two days on a vacation and traveling the same number of hours back,” Scindia said, while underlining growing aspiration of lower middle class.

The minister said that the country needed an ecosystem in the aviation sector like the automobile. “It should be not about airlines or airports, but about flying and training organizations, cargo, ground handling and drones,” said the minister.

Referring to development of the area powered by aviation sector, the minister said earlier economic growth and people’s ability to venture out used to be the consideration for setting up an airport. “Now, the whole paradigm has changed, which means where you have airports, you will have economic growth and therefore the demand situation has completely changed,” he said.

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