Tax­iBots to un­dergo trial at IGI for three months

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES CITY -

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

Jas­jeev.Gand­hiok

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