Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), a GMR Group-led consortium, said on Monday that it is ready for commercial operations of taxibots that enable aircraft taxiing on the runway to tow without running engines.
A taxibot is a semi-robotic towbar-less aircraft tractor which can tow an aircraft from a terminal gate to the take-off point and return it to the gate after landing. It aids in reducing fuel cost, improves apron usage and reduces harmful gases.
“We are excited to introduce this advanced taxiing solution that is operationally-efficient and environmentally-friendly,” said DIAL’s Chief Executive Officer Videh Kumar Jaipuriar.
“The implementation of the taxibot system will act as a boon for airlines as about 213 litres of fuel is saved per flight. This converts into a potential saving of 35 million dollars (about Rs 245 crore) annually for domestic carriers at Delhi Airport alone,” he said.
In the past eight months, about 400 successful trials were conducted with three airlines. This resulted in savings of 2.36 lakh carbon dioxide emissions, 83,265 litres of aviation fuel, 27.3 hours of ground time and 51 hours of engine life.
Low-cost airline SpiceJet will start using taxibots from Tuesday and other carriers will follow soon. KSU Aviation will supply the taxibots. To begin with, two taxibots will be operational. In the next four years. the number will go up to 15.