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Indian aviation growth story may not be good for fight against climate change

11:22 AM Apr 24, 2023 IST | Ground report
indian aviation growth story may not be good for fight against climate change

Over the past 9 years, the Indian aviation industry has seen remarkable growth, with the number of operational airports doubling from 74 in 2014 to 148 in 2023.

The growth can be attributed to the unwavering efforts of the government to improve airports and aviation infrastructure. The Regional Connectivity Scheme – Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (RCS-UDAN), launched in 2016, has been a major initiative, with 469 routes connecting 74 airports in operation, providing millions of Indians with affordable air travel options.


Additionally, the aviation industry has strived to maintain sustainability while increasing the number of airports. The receipt of Tier 4+ carbon accreditation by the Delhi and Mumbai airports highlights the industry’s efforts towards sustainability.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has developed a roadmap to achieve 100% renewable energy for all of its remaining operating airports by 2024, demonstrating its commitment to sustainable practices.


As the industry continues to grow, it is expected that it will continue to adopt sustainable practices, promoting a cleaner, more efficient and prosperous aviation sector in India.

India’s Aviation Industry: Growth and Sustainability

In October 2016, the Indian government started the Regional Connectivity Scheme with the main objective of improving aviation infrastructure and air connectivity in Tier II and III cities, fulfilling the aspirations of the common citizen.


To reactivate and develop 100 unattended and unattended airports, heliports, and water airfields by 2024, the government approved the ‘Reactivation of Unattended and Unattended Airports’ plan. This is an ongoing scheme that holds bidding rounds from time to time to cover more destinations or stations and routes.

The government has been making continuous efforts towards sustainability since the increase in airports has been accompanied by it. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has developed a roadmap to achieve 100% renewable energy for all its remaining operating airports by 2024, showing a commitment to sustainable practices.


The government hopes that the aviation industry will continue to grow and adopt sustainable practices, promoting a cleaner, more efficient and prosperous aviation sector in India.

Why Indian aviation growth story may not be good?

The rapid growth of the Indian aviation industry may not be good for India’s fight against climate change due to the high carbon footprint of aviation. The aviation industry is responsible for a significant amount of global greenhouse gas emissions, with carbon dioxide being the main contributor.


As the aviation industry in India continues to grow, carbon emissions from air travel are also expected to increase, which could pose a significant challenge to India’s efforts to combat climate change.

The construction and operation of new airports and aviation infrastructure require significant amounts of energy, which can contribute to increased carbon emissions. Increased air traffic can also lead to noise pollution and other environmental impacts, including air and water pollution.

While the Indian government has taken steps to promote sustainable aviation, such as encouraging the use of biofuels and improving the energy efficiency of airports, the scale of growth in the aviation industry may outpace these efforts.

It is important that the government, the aviation industry and other stakeholders work together to find sustainable solutions that balance economic growth with environmental concerns.

List Of International Airports in India

International Airport Name & CodeInternational Airport LocationType/Purpose
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport – BOMMumbai, MaharashtraCommercial Airport
Kempegowda International Airport – BLRBangalore, KarnatakaCommercial Airport
Chennai International Airport – MAAChennai, Tamil NaduCommercial Airport
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport – CCUKolkata, West BengalCommercial Airport
Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport – LKO Lucknow, Uttar PradeshCommercial Airport
Sri GuruRam Dass Jee International Airport – ATQAmritsar, PunjabCommercial Airport
Visakhapatnam International Airport – VTZVisakhapatnam, Andhra PradeshCivil Enclave
Kannur International Airport – CNNKannur, KeralaCommercial Airport
Surat International Airport – STVSurat, GujaratCommercial Airport
Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar Airport – IDRIndore, Madhya PradeshCommercial Airport
Cochin International Airport – COK Kochi, KeralaCommercial Airport
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport – AMDAhmedabad, GujaratCommercial Airport
Indira Gandhi International Airport – DELDelhiCommercial Airport
Dabolim Airport – GOIGoaCivil Enclave
Pune Airport – PNQPune, MaharashtraCivil Enclave
Thiruvananthapuram International Airport – TRVThiruvananthapuram, KeralaCommercial  Airport
Coimbatore International Airport – CJBCoimbatore, Tamil NaduCommercial  Airport
Calicut International Airport – CCJCalicut, KeralaCommercial  Airport
Biju Patnaik International Airport – BBIBhubaneswar, OdishaCommercial  Airport
Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport – GAUGuwahati, AssamCivil Enclave
Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport – VNSVaranasi, Uttar PradeshCommercial Airport
Rajiv Gandhi International Airport- HYDHyderabad, TelanganaCommercial Airport
Tiruchirappalli International Airport – TRZTiruchirappalli, Tamil NaduCommercial Airport
Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport – NAGNagpur, MaharashtraCommercial Airport
Sheikhul Aalam International Airport – SXRSrinagar, Jammu and KashmirCivil Enclave
Imphal International Airport – IMFImphal, ManipurCommercial Airport
Jaipur International Airport – JAIJaipur, RajasthanCommercial Airport
Madurai Airport – IXMMadurai, Tamil NaduCustoms, Commercial
Bagdogra International Airport – IXBSiliguri, West BengalCommercial Airport
Jay Prakash Narayan International Airport – PATPatna, BiharCommercial (Restricted International Flights, Customs)
Mangalore International Airport – IXEMangalore, KarnatakaCommercial Airport
Chandigarh International Airport – IXCChandigarhCivil Enclave (Restricted International Flights, Customs)


How many airports are in India?

The number of operational airports in India is148 in 2023.

How many International Airports are operational in India?

There are 34 operational International Airports in India.

Which Airport in India is adjudged to be the cleanest and best airport?

Delhi airport has been adjudged as one of the best and cleanest airports in the Asia Pacific region by the international grouping ACI.

Which is the smallest airport (shortest runway length) in India?

Trichy has the shortest (lenghwise) runway of any commercial airports with international flights, shorter than even the IATA mandated 9000 ft.

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