TaxiBots to undergo trial at IGI for three months
New Delhi: The IGI airport now has special taxiing machines called ‘TaxiBot’ to help reduce congestion, emission and fuel consumption for airlines.
Currently, two machines have been installed at the airport with the calibration work likely to be completed by next week. The trial runs would be conducted for three months, following which more machines would be introduced, an official said.
TaxiBot is a semi-robotic equipment that can be attached to the nose of an aircraft, allowing it to taxi without using the engine.
The technology has been developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and has recently conducted its certification trials at the Frankfurt Airport in association with Lufthansa Airlines. The machines are being introduced at the Delhi airport in association with KSU Aviation Pvt Ltd. The trial pha- se will have three airlines — IndiGo, SpiceJet and Jet Airways, the official said.
“The TaxiBots are being calibrated at the moment and we expect trials to begin in 10 days. Initially, we will use empty IndiGo, SpiceJet and Jet Airways aircraft, however, will eventually test the aircraft in actual conditions after landing,” said Sanjay Bahadur, spokesperson, KSU.
The machine has been designed to attach itself under the nose-wheel of the aircraft, following which the pilot can control and navigate it without using the engine. This feature would help reduce fuel consumption, CO2 and other noxious gases emission, and also help in bringing down damage done to airplane breaks.
“During the certification trial, we found that the machine could reduce the fuel consumption cost by around 85%, and has a top speed of 23 knots. If the trials are successful, we plan to introduce three more machines at IGI and around 40 in the long-run in other airports as well,” Bahadur said.
The machine has been designed to attach itself under the nose-wheel of the aircraft, following which the pilot can control and navigate it without using the engine