The Delhi and Mumbai airports will soon be using TaxiBots, which are pilot-controlled semi robotic machines that can tow aircrafts from the parking bay to the runway. This will allow aircrafts engines to remain switched off until they reach the runway.
With the rapidly growing number of aircrafts as well as passengers in the Indian aviation industry, airports in the country are looking towards environment-friendly practices.
The Aviation Environment Circular 2013, released by the Government of India, highlighted that emissions from aircrafts need to be reduced, in accordance with the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
With the capacity to reduce air pollution, and also reduce the amount of fuel consumed before takeoff, TaxiBots are a solution to environmental problems within the aviation sector. About 85% more fuel can be saved through their use.
In addition to their environmental benefits, they are also likely to reduce congestion at boarding gates, and significantly mitigate the risk of jet blast incidents in the apron area. Moreover, these machines are capable of reducing noise levels by 60% and foreign object damage (FOD) by 50%, making them cost-efficient for airlines companies as well.
Detailed Plans For Introducting TaxiBots
TaxiBots were developed by the Lahav Division of Israel Aerospace Industries. They function like tractors that can tow aircrafts, and can be controlled by pilots from the cockpit using regular controls.
Speaking to Mumbai Mirror, spokespersons for Israel Aerospace Industries detailed the two-stage process that will be used to introduce TaxiBots. In the first phase, the machines will be delivered and run by the airports in a controlled trial mode until the end of 2018. The second phase will involve the delivery of more TaxiBots to New Delhi and Mumbai airports over four years.
The Indira Gandhi International Airport at Delhi will be the first airport to deploy the TaxiBots for trial later this year. The airport is set to become the first in the world to deploy this technology.