Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has closed a deal to supply TaxiBot vehicles to New Delhi and Mumbai airports, Globes reported on Sunday.
The semi-robotic vehicle hitches up to the aircraft and enables the pilot to taxi from the airport’s jet bridge (“sleeve”) to the runway without running the plane’s main engines.
The technology promises savings of some 85 percent of the fuel consumed during standard taxi procedures, and a comparable reduction of the greenhouse gases otherwise emitted by the engines.
Noise levels are also said to be 60 percent lower, and foreign object damage brought down by half, as foreign objects won’t be sucked into the engines while they aren’t in use.
The contract, signed with KSU Aviation, calls for two phases: Controlled trials to the end of this year; and then delivery of 38 vehicles in four years to New Delhi and Mumbai as well as to the general Indian market.
KSU Aviation Private Limited founder Yogesh Sethi hailed TaxiBot as the technology for “how aircrafts will be moved on ground in the future.”
He predicted that “the use of TaxiBot at Indian Airports in the coming five years will bring about a savings of 1.5 billion dollars to the Indian airlines and further reduce the environmental damage of greenhouse gases by four million tons.”