IGI first to have such vehicles, trial runs to be conducted on aircraft.
New Delhi: Aviation watchdog DGCA has allowed the use of taxibots and semi-robotic vehicles to tow aircrafts whose engines will be shut, from the parking bay to the runway holding pointing to curb pollution at airports and save fuel.
The Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport in New Delhi will be the first to have these vehicles with the trial runs to be conducted for Jet Airways and SpiceJet aircrafts. These vehicles will be remotely controlled by pilots till the runway poi-nt. The trial-run of the taxibots would start with aircrafts from Jet Airways and SpiceJet soon. It is expected that by mid-October, it will be put to commercial use, KSU Aviation, the operator of the vehicle, said.
The use of taxibots will help in cutting carbon dioxide emission at the IGI airport drastically. Usually, 800 kg of carbon dioxide is emitted for every 15 minutes of taxing, according to a KSU spokesperson.
Globally, in the airline space, 80 million tons of carbon dioxide is emitted every year because of aircraft taxing, the spokespe-rson said referring to a study. Eighty-five per cent of the fuel consumed during taxing can be checked with the use of a taxibot. Other advantages include reduction of noise level by 60 per cent.
Taxibots could also reduce foreign object damage by 50 per cent since the engine remains shut, as per some independent studies.
The Civil Aviation Mini-stry last week informed Parliament that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has “acc-epted a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) supplemental type certificate that allows taxibots to tow an aircraft from the parking bay to the runway holding point without using the main engines.”