National passenger carrier Air India on Tuesday became the first airline in the world to use “TaxiBot” on an Airbus A320 aircraft operating a commercial flight.
As per aviation parlance, a “TaxiBot” or “Taxiing Robot”, is a pilot-controlled semi-robotic towbar-less aircraft tractor used as an alternate taxiing equipment.
Accordingly, the airline used the “TaxiBot” on its flight AI665 from Delhi to Mumbai at Terminal 3, IGI Airport.
“Using this device, it is possible to tow the aircraft from parking bays to the runway with their engines switched off. Thus saving precious fuel and reduce engine wear and tear,” the airline said in a statement.
“The ignition will be turned only when the aircraft reaches the runway. These TaxiBots will be used for departing flights only. This way, Air India will take a giant step towards curbing carbon emission, which will result in improving air quality and accelerate a greener aviation eco-system.”
According to the statement, usage of “TaxiBots” will significantly bring down fuel consumption by as much as 85 per cent used during taxiing of aircraft.