Authorities at Kolkata airport have decided to replace half the fleet of inspection vehicles in the operational area to electric by this year-end. The move is part of the airport’s initiative to reduce its carbon footprint and move towards carbon neutrality.
“Of the four vehicles that we have for inspection of runway and rest of the operational area, we will convert two to electric. The switchover could have been done by next month-end had adequate EVs been available in the market. Since there is waterlogging in parts of the operational area when there are heavy showers during monsoon, we will go in for sports utility vehicles that have a higher ground clearance than sedans and hatchbacks,” said airport director Kaushik Bhattacharjee.
At present, only Hyundai has an electric SUV called Kona that costs in excess of Rs 23 lakh. Though Mahindra has positioned its eKUV as a mini SUV under Rs 10 lakh, it is a hatch with tallboy design. Tata Motors has an electric sedan Tigor that is priced Rs 10-13 lakh. It will soon introduce an electric version of its compact SUV Nexon.
At present, six electric buggy carts are in operation in the airport terminal to ferry elderly passengers with reduced mobility.
The airport has recently received accreditation for carbon reduction initiatives by a global agency that benchmarks efforts by airports worldwide to become carbon neutral and environment friendly.
Among the measures that Kolkata airport has already taken includes generating a chunk of its power requirements from sustainable sources and making a switch to energy efficient lights.
The airport has a 15MWp ground mounted solar installed capacity and 2MWp rooftop mounted solar plant. In addition, it has sensor-based energy saving electrical fixtures and systems installed in the terminal.
Also, the airport is working towards reducing aircraft ground movement by constructing a new taxiway that will take planes directly to the head of the runway. This will lead to fuel saving for airlines and reduce carbon emission.
IndiGo, the carrier with the largest number of flight operations from Kolkata, is also planning to do its bit by introducing an innovative in-wheel electric taxi system integrated to the aircraf nose wheels. “Powered from the auxiliary power unit and controlled by the pilot using a cockpit panel, the plane can reverse and taxi without the need for an external tug or main engine,” an IndiGo official explained.
Source: Times of India