India to map carbon footprint of the country's airline operations for the first time
Fri 13 Nov 2009 – India is to map for the first time the carbon emissions of its airline sector over the next two months, according to a report in India Today. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has asked the three main suppliers of jet fuel in the country to furnish it with data of sales. Together with the DGCA’s inventory of aircraft in operation, the fuel sales data will be used to estimate fuel burn and in turn carbon emissions. The Indian aviation sector grew at a 20 percent average annual growth between 2003/4 and 2008/9 although it has shrunk this year due to the economic slowdown. India was blamed for taking a negative line at the ICAO High-Level Meeting on international aviation and climate change in October.
According to the article, the Director-General of the DGCA, Nasim Zaidi, said 2005 would be used as the base year for the comparison of carbon emissions in the airline sector to assess the rate of growth.
Since 2003/4, the consumption of jet fuel is estimated to have grown from 2.5 million tonnes to 4.5 million tonnes. During this period, the number of aircraft grew from 158 to 396, with 132 new aircraft added by domestic airlines this year. However, during the first seven months of 2009, traffic fell by 4.9% as some cash-strapped airlines cancelled flights, returned planes on lease and cancelled orders for new aircraft. In July, the number of flights reduced by 12.5% compared to the previous year.
The country has become the ninth biggest aviation market although it remains one of the least penetrated. India accounts for 0.02 air trips per capita per year as compared to 0.1 for China and 2.2 for the United States.
At the ICAO High-Level Meeting in Montreal earlier last month to review the work carried out by the ICAO Group on International Aviation and Climate Change (GIACC) and agree on a position in advance of the Copenhagen climate summit next month, the Indian delegation opposed a global sectoral approach proposal for international aviation, stating that such discussions should only take place within the UNFCCC framework.