Air India will be using TaxiBot on a A320 aircraft with passengers onboard. TaxiBot is a robot-used aircraft tractor for taxiing an aircraft from parking bay to runway and vice versa.
The national carrier’s chairman and managing director Ashwani Lohani flagged off flight AI665 – which was carried to runway using 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.
It is a pilot controlled semi-robotic tow-barless aircraft tractor used as an alternate taxiing equipment. “The use of TaxiBot on the Air India aircraft at Indira Gandhi International Airport this morning is the first such usage on any Airbus aircraft worldwide. It is an achievement to be proud of. This is a giant step forward towards a cleaner environment,” Lohani said.
The usage of TaxiBots will significantly bring down the consumption of fuel used during taxiing of an aircraft by as much as 85%. It will also help in decongesting boarding gates and the apron area by providing efficient pushbacks.