Air India’ AI665 Delhi-Mumbai witnesses a unique taxing mechanism with the successful usage of taxiBot with passengers on board. Air India CMD Shri Ashwani Lohani flagged off usage of TaxiBot welcoming a greener aviation ecosystem.
TaxiBots are semi-autonomous vehicles that enable an aircraft to cover the distance from the parking bay to the runway without switching on the engines. This facility, apart from saving fuel, helps reduce carbon dioxide emission, reduces the aircraft’s wear and tear, cuts down the risk of jet blast incidents and saves money. TaxiBot is like a tow vehicle that is connected with the plane’s nose wheel (front wheel).
“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. Further, usage of TaxiBots will significantly bring down the consumption of fuel by as much as 85% used during taxiing of aircraft. The TaxiBots would also help in decongesting boarding gates and apron area by providing efficient pushbacks”, said an Air India official.
Such advanced taxing technology was under trial for 8 months till may, post that Spicejet was the first airline whose 7-8 flights started using TaxiBot on a daily basis. This was an achievement on the part of DIAL as Delhi airport was the world’s first recipient of this technology. The implementation of TaxiBot will act as a boon for the airlines as approximately 213 litres of fuel is saved per flight. This translates into a saving of $35 million annually for domestic carriers at a time when Jet Fuel prices are always fluctuating.
This is yet another initiative by Air India Team led by Director Operations Capt Amitabh Singh, to ensure a greener environment for flight operations. Recently, his team ensured the national carrier became the first Indian airline to chart the Polar Route to San Francisco, which had resulted in savings on flying time, fuel consumption and curbing carbon footprint. Earlier the Airline had taken a pioneering step by operating Commercial flights on No Destination alternate route basis.