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Air India is world’s 1st carrier to use TaxiBot on flight with passengers

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 15, 2019 Published on October 15, 2019

A photo of Air India using a Taxibot on a A320 aircraft   -  Twitter/ @airindiain

TaxiBot tows aircraft, with engines off, from the parking bay to the runway

Air India has become the first global airline to use a TaxiBot or a taxiing robot to tow an Airbus A-320 commercial flight with passengers on board.

A TaxiBot is a pilot controlled semi-robotic tow bar-less aircraft tractor used as an alternative taxiing equipment.

On Tuesday, the Air India Delhi-Mumbai flight 665 used a TaxiBot to tow it to the runway.

It tows the aircraft from the parking bay to the runway with the plane’s engines shut.

This helps protect the environment as a Boeing 737 or Airbus A-320 aircraft can take up to 11 to 13 minutes to taxi when it is likely to burn over 200 litres of aviation turbine fuel (ATF).

According to Air India, using TaxiBots will bring down the consumption of fuel by as much as 85 per cent during taxiing.

According to KSU Aviation Private Ltd, which has introduced TaxiBots at the Delhi airport in October 2018, taxiing robot helps in delaying the switching on of an aircraft engine by 10-12 minutes.

The company plans to introduce TaxiBots in other airports around the country. According to the promoters, the six metro airports contribute to 65 per cent of the air traffic movement or movement of an aircraft for take-off, emitting as much as 6,03,000 tonnes of CO2. They consumed 1,90,000 tonnes of ATF, costing close to $240 million, when they taxied for departure last year.

Published on October 15, 2019
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