The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) has been chosen by the United Nations for the “Champion of Earth Prize-2018”.
“This is the United Nation’s highest environmental accolade and reflects your leadership in the use of sustainable energy,” said a statement signed by Erik Solheim, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). “As the world’s first fully solar powered airport, you set an ambitious example that we hope many others will follow,” stated the communique, which was addressed to V J Kurian, CIAL Managing Director.
“We showed the world that big infrastructure projects like airport can be put into operation fully using alternative energy sources,” V J Kurian commented. CIAL owns and operates India’s first airport built under Public Private Partnership. The airport became power neutral in August 2015 when its 12 MWp solar power plant was commissioned. By September 2018, the solar capacity at CIAL will be increased to 40 MWp, resulting in saving about Rs 40 crore per annum, he added.
The airport is ranked fourth in India in terms of international traffic and seventh in total traffic and handled 10 million passengers in 2017-18. The award was instituted in 2005 and will be presented at a ceremony on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on September 26.