In an attempt to reduce pollution at airports, the aviation regulator has asked the airport authorities to change on-ground power supply to flights, from diesel to electric.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issued a circular to this effect last week.
The airports presently use auxiliary power units (APU), fixed in jets or ground power units to supply power to the aircraft. The devices are used to start the aircraft engine before take-off and cool the cabin before passengers board the plane. These units lead to massive noise and air pollution.
“The ground power units run on high speed diesel, which is very polluting and cause noise levels up to 85 decibel,” said a DGCA official. He added, “Continuous use of these units releases hazardous pollutants such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide.” As a result, the regulator has asked airport operators to equip aerobridges with environment-friendly devices.
“Many airports abroad use a device called Fixed Electrical Ground Power (FEGP) unit. This system will help reduce noise and air pollution,” added the official. The regulator has also asked airport operators to monitor all airlines, including foreign carriers to see that they use the FEGP unit. The airline regulator would conduct checks at airports every three months to see if the circular is being followed.