Bots on wheels to save fuel at airport
TaxiBots will be deployed at the Delhi airport from Tuesday will help airlines save 213 litres of aviation fuel every day, say officials. The TaxiBots are semi-autonomous vehicles that enables an aircraft to cover the distance from parking bay to the runway without switching on the engines.
Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), the airport operator, said Delhi airport is the world’s first recipient of this technology. The facility, officials say, apart from saving fuel, will help reduce carbon dioxide emission, reduce the aircraft’s wear and tear, cut down risk of jet blast incidents and save money.
A DIAL official said TaxiBot is like a tow vehicle which is connected with the plane’s nose wheel (front wheel).
DIAL CEO, Videh Kumar Jaipuriar said, “Delhi airport is 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.”
A DIAL spokesperson said, starting tomorrow, 7-8 flights of SpiceJet will use TaxiBot every day. “Besides saving money, the technology helps reduce emission of harmful gases, noise and wear and tear of aircraft brakes and improves apron safety by reducing damage due to Foreign Objects Debris (FOD),” the spokesperson said.
DIAL said TaxiBots were being used at Delhi airport under trial for past eight months. In about 400 trials we saved emission of 2.36 lakh Kg carbon dioxide, 83,265 litres of fuel, 27.3 hours of time and 51 hours of engine life, the airport operator said.
Currently, only two TaxiBots are operational at Delhi airport but DIAL said in the next four years the number will go up to 15. “Initially the TaxiBots will be used only for the departing flights. As their number increases, we will also facilitate the arriving flights,” DIAL spokesperson said.
CEO Jaipuriar added, “We are excited to introduce this advanced taxiing solution that is operationally efficient and environmentally-friendly.”