Airport steps on the gas to turn green, breathe easy
No gassing, the Delhi airport is a greener place today.
Thanks to a switch to CNG for a large number of ground vehicles, air pollution levels have come down perceivably at the airport.
Over 3,000 vehicles crisscross the 5,000-acre airport every day. These include airline passenger coaches, staff vehicles, crew transport cars and other vehicles.
Although quite a few vehicles, especially passenger coaches, were already running on CNG, the bigger change has come about thanks to the opening up of a CNG filling station right inside the airport around six months ago.
“Earlier, the coaches that ran on CNG had to refill outside the airport, but now they can do so right here, saving a lot of time and money,” said a spokesman of the private airport developer Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL).
“With CNG, which is a much cheaper fuel, now easily available, many other vehicles are also converting to it.”
For airlines, the fuelling facility has come as a great relief. Earlier, they risked damaging their low-floor buses on speed-breakers every time they took them out for fuelling to a station near the Delhi-Gurgaon border. Taking the coaches out of the airport also posed a security risk.
While almost all passenger coaches of different airlines have converted to CNG, vehicles that ferry airline staff and cabin crew are also now being retrofitted with CNG kits.
“All IndiGo passenger coaches run on CNG but some staff vehicles are yet to be converted,” said an IndiGo spokeswoman. Jet Airways, too, said all its vehicles were running on CNG.
The CNG station started on a trial basis on single shift last December but with more vehicles now opting for gas, it operates round the clock.
CNG is supplied through a pipeline and filled through two compressors.