Srinagar Airport among 20 declared plastic-free by AAI

Srinagar Airport among 20 declared plastic-free by AAI

Airport officials said as part of AAIs eco-friendly policy, these airports also plan to install plastic bottle crushing machines and place dustbins at prominent places.

The Srinagar International Airport is among 20 airports declared plastic-free by the Airports Authority of India. 

The other airports include Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Pune, Goa, Lucknow, Trivandrum, Bhubaneswar, Kozhikode, Patna, Visakhapatnam, Coimbatore, Amritsar, Indore, Bangalore, Bagdogra, Nagpur, Chennai, Chandigarh and Varanasi.

Airport officials said as part of AAIs eco-friendly policy, these airports also plan to install plastic bottle crushing machines and place dustbins at prominent places. 

Single-use plastics often also referred to as disposable plastics, commonly used in packaging and include items intended to be used only once before they are thrown away or recycled will now onwards be discouraged at the airport. 

“We have started various awareness campaigns for sensitising all stakeholders towards the cause of eco-friendly environment. At the terminal building, plastic plates and cutlery is being gradually replaced by more eco-friendly material,” Akash Deep Mathur, Director of Srinagar Airport told Greater Kashmir.

Mathur said AAI, which operates 90 airports, also plans to enhance its waste management systems and promote eco-friendly sustainable alternatives like use of bio-degradable garbage bags at these airports.

Officials say AAI has also engaged Quality Council of India (QCI) to assess and check implementation of the ban on single-use plastic items at 34 airports including at Srinagar  to be completed by end of January.  

Mathur said the existing Airport terminal at Srinagar has a capacity of handling 950 passengers at the peak time which will be increased to 2,300 passengers. 

“More passengers means increased usage of plastic. With the terminal expansion expected to increase passenger footfall from 3 million to 5.2 million per annum we hope the eco-friendly measures will be helpful,” Mathur said.

The AAI has formulated an environment policy to reduce green house gases and carbon footprint. 

It is also looking at other environment-friendly measures like generating solar power, rain water harvesting and garbage disposal. 

“Several airports outside the Valley are fully solar-run. The proposal to make Srinagar Airport solar-run is although in a very nascent stage but we hope to achieve it by 2021 when the new terminal is also expected to be completed with a project cost of Rs 495 crore,” Mathur said.

Srinagar airport is under direct operational control of the Indian Air Force which controls its air traffic and landing strip and also the facilities of fire-fighting and crash activities. 

The terminal building, where the passengers check-in and check-out, and the apron area, where an  aircraft is parked, are however controlled by AAI .