Air India mulls green drive forum to save ozone layer

Written by Shaheen Mansuri | Mumbai, Sep 24 | Updated: Sep 25 2007, 06:18am hrs
After bagging the Montreal Protocol Public Awareness Award, instituted by the United Nations, for its efforts in protecting the ozone layer, state-owned carrier Air India, under its CMD V Thulasidas, is now planning to rope in other airlines into its environment-friendly drive, under the umbrella Airlines Forum for Environment Protection.

Says KM Unni, convener of the environmental committee, Air India, Currently, aviation contributes 2% of the global carbon dioxide emission, which some airline CEOs feel is a negligible contribution as compared to the flak the industry received for it. He said the idea to form a forum to protect the depleting ozone layers came up during Air Indias various meetings with international organisations like the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

He says the immediate issue is that the 2% CO2 emission contribution of the aviation sector may increase enormously by the phenomenal increase in air travel and acceptance of air travel as common mans transport. It is argued that the depletion of ozone layer would cause suns rays that hit the earth to get trapped between the earth and the sun, generating a lot of heat that can damage atmosphere.

With the increased activities in general and civil aviation and the stringent rules on emission and noise pollution activities, airlines across the globe have started adopting measures to curb the adverse effects on the environment.

As far as Air India is concerned, we have introduced Halon Management to bring down the release of halogen into the atmosphere. Halogen has ozone-depleting bromine atoms, which if released into the atmosphere, damages the ozone layer. We use halogen in fire extinguishers and air conditioners, too, he said.