Transportation

Sustainable Airports through Digitization

As India heads toward achieving its goal to have 220 airports by 2025 with 80 new airports in the next 3 years, we must achieve this goal while addressing sustainability through digitization. Climate change and its impacts have left airports to reconsider the future of aviation.

As a vital part, airports of today are committing to a great passenger experience and aiming to provide sustainable infrastructure. It was an esteem honor to witness a discussion on this transformational topic between the leaders led by honorable minister Shri Joytiradtiya Scindia (Minister for Civil Aviation, India), Mr.Chrishtoph Shellman (CEO Noida International Airport) and Mr. Ronojoy Dutta (Chairman of CII National Committee for Civil Aviation, CEO of Indigo Airlines) and Mr. Anil Chaudhry (MD & CEO, Schneider Electric India Private Limited and Zone President Greater India).

Sustainable Airports through Digitization

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Innovation for Sustainability

India’s aviation industry will be the world’s largest by 2030. I applaud the ministry of civil aviation for its emphasis on public and private partnerships, and its effort to promote inclusive, sustainable, and long-term growth for the aviation sector. I want to highlight innovations that contribute to the airport’s sustainability, while several solutions exist, let’s focus on operational and infrastructural enhancements.

The huge energy consumption of an airport and significant contribution to global carbon emission, present a unique opportunity for creating a next-generation “Airport 4.0” which is more efficient, resilient, and sustainable.

Schneider Electric is well poised to align with the government and other organizations to become the digital partner for efficiency and sustainability, for public and private infrastructure projects.

With our prime minister announcing “Net-Zero” by 2070 at COP26, digitization and energy management are undoubtedly sowing the seeds of sustainability for the aviation industry.

End-to-end solution

Aligned with the government’s vision of creating world-class airports, Schneider Electric launched EcoStruxure for airports. it’s an end-to-end digital solution across the entire value chain of the infrastructure, which builds future-ready and energy-efficient airports through an IoT-enabled platform.

EcoStruxure provides digital solutions that help airports manage energy, enhance energy quality and meet environmental standards. At the build phase, the platform offers digital twin technology for the seamless digital hand-over of projects to the operational phase. The platform is a system-of-system solution that fosters a collaborative environment and offers a unified version of the truth, that enables faster decisions, improved controls, and operational effectiveness, thus ensuring a seamless consumer experience.

GREENext

As Shri Joytiradtiya Scindia (Minister for Civil Aviation, India) announced the progressive plan to have a total of 220 airports by 2025, including 80 new airports in the next 3 years, this will undoubtedly increase travel accessibility for all.

I was delighted to share with the panel members about Atal Nagar smart city, India’s first greenfield smart city is now running on Schneider Electric’s fully integrated unified operation center. I take the opportunity to share our newly unveiled program GREENext, which aims to empower the grids of the future with decentralization, decarbonization, and independence.

We envision a tomorrow, where building infrastructure will control and manage their energy footprint through micro-grids. GREENext program utilizes best-in-class industry technology, coupled with efficient financing models which results in effective management of multiple energy sources like solar, battery, wind, and hydrogen in the future enabling better cost economics and energy resiliency for the user. GREENext aims to further augment the government of India’s “Udaan” scheme, by providing digital solutions to address the expansion of 140 regional airports, fulfilling the requirement for further improvement of power quality and supply reliability.

Integrated Solutions

Having a broad portfolio of 12 integrated solutions and a global presence, our solutions and our vast experience have benefited 10 major airports globally.

The Singapore Changi airport is a great example of energy management and enables the customer to operate in a safe, secure, and efficient manner. Schneider Electric provided an extensive energy management system for Terminals in the Changi airport, the solutions are present across the terminal, but you don’t see them. There are more than 150,000 sensors present at Changi airport which measure the temperature, humidity, and moment of the passengers for example.

Another notable project is, the modernization of electrical infrastructure for Geneva airport, here we upgraded the distribution of electrical infrastructure without impacting the operations, which gave ease of travel for 15million passengers. This is again with the complete renovation and installation of a medium voltage system, from transformers to distribution equipment and monitoring the software. The project also introduced smart panels throughout the site, which enabled airport staff to centralize all energy information and generate accurate energy reports.

I would like to highlight another example of Barcelona Alberta airport, the airport achieved safe operation and scalability for future grids with Aveva solutions. The system which originally manages about 35,000 signals, now handles 7 lakh inputs through 80 servers that make up 5 control environments, in the final phase, the signals are expected to increase to nearly 10 lakhs.

Conclusion

I would like to conclude that climate change is a reality, and the key pillar of addressing the risk lies in operation, energy efficiency, and sustainability. Schneider Electric is your partner to provide sustainable digitized IoT-enabled solutions to manage operations, energy efficiency, and sustainability. I was grateful to have this opportunity to present our experience and share our views and solutions, and I look forward to continuing our contribution to the growth of civil aviation sector and airports of the future in India.

About the author

Ashutosh Shukla, Director- Mobility Segment, Schneider Electric

Ashutosh is a highly skilled professional with more than 26 years’ experience across industries. He has been with Schneider Electric for last 15 years. His expertise spans across different assignments, from channel management to project management and equipment. In his current position as Director- Mobility Segment, he is tasked with partnering India’s growth story of Infrastructure. His focus is on delivering solutions that make Airports, Metros and Railways more sustainable, robust, productive and digital.

Ashutosh is a graduate in Electrical Engineering from KNIT and his hobbies include reading and listening to music.


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