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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

By Ground report
New Update
From 74 to 148: Indian Aviation industry booms in past decade

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 & Code International Airport Location Type/Purpose
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport – BOM Mumbai, Maharashtra Commercial Airport
Kempegowda International Airport – BLR Bangalore, Karnataka Commercial Airport
Chennai International Airport – MAA Chennai, Tamil Nadu Commercial Airport
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport – CCU Kolkata, West Bengal Commercial Airport
Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport – LKO  Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh Commercial Airport
Sri GuruRam Dass Jee International Airport – ATQ Amritsar, Punjab Commercial Airport
Visakhapatnam International Airport – VTZ Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh Civil Enclave
Kannur International Airport – CNN Kannur, Kerala Commercial Airport
Surat International Airport – STV Surat, Gujarat Commercial Airport
Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar Airport – IDR Indore, Madhya Pradesh Commercial Airport
Cochin International Airport – COK  Kochi, Kerala Commercial Airport
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport – AMD Ahmedabad, Gujarat Commercial Airport
Indira Gandhi International Airport – DEL Delhi Commercial Airport
Dabolim Airport – GOI Goa Civil Enclave
Pune Airport – PNQ Pune, Maharashtra Civil Enclave
Thiruvananthapuram International Airport – TRV Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala Commercial  Airport
Coimbatore International Airport – CJB Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu Commercial  Airport
Calicut International Airport – CCJ Calicut, Kerala Commercial  Airport
Biju Patnaik International Airport – BBI Bhubaneswar, Odisha Commercial  Airport
Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport – GAU Guwahati, Assam Civil Enclave
Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport – VNS Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh Commercial Airport
Rajiv Gandhi International Airport- HYD Hyderabad, Telangana Commercial Airport
Tiruchirappalli International Airport – TRZ Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu Commercial Airport
Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport – NAG Nagpur, Maharashtra Commercial Airport
Sheikhul Aalam International Airport – SXR Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir Civil Enclave
Imphal International Airport – IMF Imphal, Manipur Commercial Airport
Jaipur International Airport – JAI Jaipur, Rajasthan Commercial Airport
Madurai Airport – IXM Madurai, Tamil Nadu Customs, Commercial
Bagdogra International Airport – IXB Siliguri, West Bengal Commercial Airport
Jay Prakash Narayan International Airport – PAT Patna, Bihar Commercial (Restricted International Flights, Customs)
Mangalore International Airport – IXE Mangalore, Karnataka Commercial Airport
Chandigarh International Airport – IXC Chandigarh Civil 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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Tags: climate change mumbai airport Civil Aviation Airports Guwahati airport Delhi airport Airport Federal Aviation Indian Aviation industry