Monday, May 27, 2019

Taxibots to tow aircraft, save fuel, cut pollution

New Delhi: Come Tuesday, IGI will become the first airport in the country to have taxibots to tow aircraft whose engines are shut from the parking bay to the runway. The taxibots, which are semi-robotic vehicles, will not only curb pollution at airports but also save fuel. These vehicles will be remote-controlled by pilots till the runway point.
An official of the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) said the taxibots were ready for commercial operations after lengthy trial runs. To begin with, these will be used by the aircraft of SpiceJet. An official explained that the semi-autonomous vehicle was developed by Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI), which an enabled aircraft to taxi without their engines running. The technology aims to reserve the use of aircraft engines and serves as a tug to tow them safely and efficiently.

“Taxibots are a technological innovation in the aviation space. We are proud to be world’s first recipients of this technology and to commence its commercial operations. We are excited about introducing this advanced taxiing solution that is operationally efficient and environmentally friendly. Delhi Airport has won numerous awards for its sustainable and green initiatives. The commissioning of taxibots further strengthens our position in this league,” Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, DIAL CEO, said. Jaipuriar said the taxibot system would save approximately 213 litres of fuel per flight. “This converts into a potential saving of $35 million annually for domestic carriers at IGI alone.”
DIAL conducted intensive trials for eight months to assess the operational viability and safety of the machine. The trials included stakeholders like Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Air Traffic Control and various airlines. Almost 400 successful trials were conducted with three airlines — SpiceJet and two other domestic carriers.
27/05/19 Times of India

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