New Delhi: National carrier Air India has become the first airline in the world to use a Taxibot on an A320 aircraft with passengers on board. On Tuesday morning, Air India’s CMD Ashwani Lohani flagged off flight AI665 – which was carried to the runway using a Taxibot at terminal 3 of the Delhi airport – to Mumbai. With Taxibot it is possible to tow an aircraft from the parking bay to the runway with its engines switched off.
What is Taxibot
A Taxibot is an Israel-developed robotic aircraft tractor for taxiing an aircraft from parking bay to runway and vice versa. It is a pilot controlled semi-robotic towbarless aircraft tractor used as alternate taxiing equipment. Taxibots are said to be of great help in reducing CO2 emissions and aviation fuel consumption.
“The use of Taxibot on the Air India aircraft at Indira Gandhi International Airport today morning is the first such usage on any Airbus aircraft worldwide. Really an achievement to be proud of. A giant step forward towards a cleaner environment,” Lohani said.
“The use of Taxibot on the Air India aircraft at Indira Gandhi International Airport today morning is the first such usage on any Airbus aircraft worldwide. Really an achievement to be proud of. A giant step forward towards a cleaner environment,”- Ashwani Lohani, CMD, Air India
Air India spokesperson Praveen Bhatnagar said, “Taxibot saves precious fuel and reduces engine wear and tear. The ignition will be turned only when the aircraft reaches the runway.”
#FlyAI : In line with the mission to accelerate greener aviation ecosystem Air India is initiating steps like usage of TaxiBots, first Indian airline to chart the Polar Route and operating commercial flights with No Destination alternate route. pic.twitter.com/30fN9euChg
— Air India (@airindiain) October 15, 2019
These Taxibots will be used for departing flights only. The usage of Taxibots will significantly bring down the consumption of fuel by as much as 85 per cent used during taxiing of an aircraft, he added.
Taxibots will also help in decongesting boarding gates and the apron area by providing efficient pushbacks, he added.