New Delhi: A series of policy measures by the DGCA have led Indian airlines and airports to significantly reduce carbon emissions despite a major growth in air traffic, according to the latest survey by the aviation regulator.
All Indian scheduled passenger airlines operating domestic and international destinations slashed their carbon footprint by 6.6 percent in 2012 compared with the previous year, the Carbon Footprint Report 2012 has said.
The total emission of 15,389,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) in 2012, which represents less than one percent of India's anthropogenic emissions, was significantly lower than the global average of 2-3 percent, the report of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation showed.
On domestic routes, the emissions were down by 9.2 percent, while it was lower by 8.8 percent for Indian carriers operating on international sectors.
In comparison, the emission by foreign carriers operating in India was a positive 5.7 percent.
Commenting on the findings, DGCA chief Arun Mishra told PTI, "There has been a significant overall decline in emission due to the introduction of a series of measures and new procedures for airlines, airports and air traffic control."
Besides, Indian carriers have brought in new and modern aircraft known for fuel efficiency, he said.
"All these things put together have enabled us to contain emissions in a major way," Mishra said, adding that the report comprehensively maps the carbon footprint of the Indian aviation sector.
DGCA had last year prepared the first such report for 2011 under the EU-India Civil Aviation Cooperation Project.
The 2012 report comes weeks ahead of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) assembly later this month where a market-based global emissions trading system (ETS) would be debated and is likely to be formalised.
The report detailed the measures initiated by DGCA, including issuing five circulars on use of aircraft power supply, fuel efficiency and single engine taxiing to slash emissions.
Listing the steps taken by Indian airlines and airports to reduce emission, it said Air India, besides replacing its fuel-guzzling planes with Boeing 787 Dreamliners, introduced updated procedures to minimise the use of auxiliary power units of its planes, while Jet Airways developed an integrated Emissions Management System to monitor and optimise jet fuel usage.
Most Indian carriers are using fuel-efficient new generation planes like Airbus A-320s and Boeing B-737s on domestic and short and medium-haul international sectors.
Cargo carrier Blue Dart was using single-engine taxi procedures, while IndiGo and SpiceJet were also taking steps to curtail fuel use, the report said.
The report, containing six sections, came in the backdrop of a major ongoing tussle between India, China, Russia, the US and several other countries and the European Union over the latter's "unilateral" decision to impose carbon tax for CO2 emissions on all airlines flying on its skies.
India and other countries have criticised the EU for acting extra-territorially when implementing EU-Emission Trading System (ETS) on international flights that do not occur inside EU airspace.
However, there are reports that a compromise was being worked out and a preliminary proposal for such a global ETS formula could be agreed in principle at the ICAO assembly, to be held from September 24 till October 4 in Montreal.
The most important item on the agenda of the ICAO assembly would be to discuss whether a global ETS could be brought forward and agreed upon by all countries which are members of the UN body.