Sunday, October 07, 2018

An Airport With Green Energy and a Reluctant Hero at Its Helm

Kochi: One of the busiest airports in India in terms of international traffic, Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) is running fully on solar energy. The solar project pioneered by managing director Vattavayalil Joseph Kurian has won it the Champions of the Earth Award of the United Nations in the Entrepreneurial Vision category.

The Cochin International Airport grabbed global attention during the devastating Kerala floods, as it had to be shut down for 11 days in a row. Less than a month after, it has hit the headlines, but all for the right reasons, when it bagged the coveted UN environment award for Entrepreneurial Vision.
“Cochin is showing the world that our ever-expanding network of global movement doesn’t have to harm the environment. As the pace of society continues to increase, the world’s first fully solar-powered airport is proof positive that green business is good business,” observes the media release by the United Nations Environment Programme.

The significance of this recognition doubles, given that the Airport, a green field project which had been at the receiving end of severe criticism from environmental activists for filling up acres of agriculture land.
“These days, most of the airports in the world look similar – with more or less similar architecture, facilities and structures. But some airports stand apart. My favorite one is Changi airport in Singapore. In India, Kochi airport stands out – as it has a distinct flavour. The architecture is different from the usual airport authority of India types – and it also an airport with a character. One can sense the efficiency of the management. The new terminal in Kochi is of international standard. The solar panels which an alternative source of energy also make it a distinctive airport,” says John Samuel, president, Institute of Sustainable Development and Governance, Trivandrum who is a frequent flyer across the globe.
07/10/18 Rajeev Ramachandran/Wire

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