Touted as a ‘green solution’ for the global aviation industry, a TaxiBot is a semi-robotic towbarless aircraft movement equipment developed by the Israel Aerospace Industries. Indian aviation and Delhi airport created history on May 6 when the 1,000th TaxiBot (taxiing robot) mission was completed.
Touted as a ‘green solution’ for the global aviation industry, a TaxiBot is a semi-robotic towbarless aircraft movement equipment developed by the Israel Aerospace Industries.
The 800-hp hybrid-electric engine, controlled by the pilot from the cockpit using regular pilot controls, can move an aircraft from the terminal gate to the take-off point (taxi-out phase) and return it to the gate after landing (taxi-in phase).
Delhi Airport estimates that since 2019, when the first TaxiBot was used, approximately 214,000 litres of Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) have been saved and 532 tonnes of Co2 emissions prevented. Among the airlines using TaxiBots are SpiceJet, Air India Express and Air India, and trials have been successfully carried out for Air Asia, Go Air and IndiGo.
TaxiBots are slated to debut at Bengaluru Airport, the second busiest airport in the country, soon with one Taxibot already stationed at the airport.
What a TaxiBot does is simple. The robot helps push the aircraft to a point short of the runway where the pilot can start the engines for take-off.
Normally an aircraft is tugged by a ground vehicle to the Tug Detach Point (TDP), which is usually reached within 1.5 to 2 minutes.