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Shaping a sustainable future for Hyderabad International Airport


Companies around the world are adopting various sustainable ways to reduce carbon footprint within their business eco-system, writes Pradeep Panicker, CEO of GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL).

Being mindful of safeguarding the environment, encouraging the workforce to adopt simple sustainable practices, and aiming for a net zero journey will be a game changer.

We at Hyderabad International Airport have pledged to build a sustainable environment that will help in reducing environmental impact and create an environmentally friendly airport.

It permeates every aspect of the airport’s infrastructure and operations at every touch point of activity.

Hyderabad International Airport has been a pioneer in adopting energy – efficient initiatives ever since it started its operations.

It was, for example, the first LEED-certified airport in Asia. The airport has a ‘green’ passenger terminal building, which has won the ‘Silver’ rating in ‘Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design’ (LEED) certification in the year 2008.

Apart from the green terminal building, the entire airport has a well-planned vast greenbelt, which serves as a natural carbon emission sink, absorbing 240 tons of carbon dioxide from the environment annually.

And that’s not all. The airport offers the airlines the use of Fixed Electrical Ground Power (FEGP) for aircraft turnaround operations instead of relying on fossil-fuel operated Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) and Ground Power Units (GPU) to avoid noise and exhaust emissions emanating from Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) & Ground Power Units (GPUs).

Additionally, battery operated Ground Support Equipment (GSE) vehicles in place of conventional internal combustion engine-driven vehicles, regular pollution checks for the GSE etc. have contributed to curtailing emission levels significantly.

At the airfield, we have implemented the latest energy conservation technologies with Rapid Exit Taxiways, Parallel Taxiway and Connecting Taxiways.

Technology solutions like Category II Airfield Ground Lighting system with LEDs, Advanced Airfield Lighting Control, and monitoring system (ALCMS) and Individual Lamp Control and Monitoring Systems (ILCMS) have been implemented that ensures the quick turnaround of aircrafts with reduced “ON” duration of Aircraft engine.

The newly built Ground Support Equipment Tunnel (GSE) is saving 7,000 tons per annum of carbon emission.

To ensure safe water drainage, a 16-lakh square metre paved area in the airside helps with a huge run-off of storm water during monsoon.

The storm water drainage system is designed in such a way that all the storm water from the airfield is collected and stored in a reservoir of capacity 450 MLD. This water is treated and reused for domestic and irrigation purposes. This initiative has helped conserve water and reduced the dependency on the external water supply.

GHIAL also has a total solar power capacity of 10MW. Recently the airport transitioned to 100% sustainable energy. By integrating green energy into operations and infrastructure, it will now reduce its carbon footprint by 9,300 tons of carbon dioxide annually.

A first in Indian airports, Hyderabad International Airport has introduced a bio-diesel filling station at the airport. In addition, EV vehicle charging stations at the main car park have been another step towards carbon neutrality that the airport has been aiming to achieve.

We have also initiated some of the best practices in waste management, rain water harvesting, single–use plastic, water conservation, cloud-based irrigation control systems to name a few.

The airport has a captive composting plant for processing food waste. The organic manure is used extensively as manure in maintaining the vast green cover.

The airport is harvesting and using rainwater, which has helped to enhance the water table level in the area. We have introduced India’s first cloud-based irrigation system to which helps in judicious usage of water for the upkeep of our landscape in the airport and the surroundings.

GHIAL has implemented stringent control measures to prevent the use of single- use plastic within its premises in the passenger terminal building. The use of single- use plastic is prohibited, and all the outlets have been mandated to use eco-friendly material.

Our efforts at energy efficiency and sustainability initiatives around the airport eco- system have been recognized globally. The CII honoured GHIAL with the ‘National Energy Leader Award; in 2019, 2020, and 2021. It has also clinched the prestigious ‘Excellency-Gold Award’ in the Telangana State Energy Conservation Awards in 2020 and 2021.

Furthermore, in 2021, GHIAL got the BEE’s ‘Certificate of Merit’ for attaining the highest NECA score of 89.26%. GHIAL is a proud Carbon Neutral Airport, having recently received Level 4+ ‘Neutrality Accreditation from ACI as part of its Airport Carbon Accreditation programme.

As we move forward in a rapidly evolving world, stakeholders across the airport eco-system should explore innovations and ideas with environmental benefits, invest in sustainable solutions and work collaboratively towards building greener airports.


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