Air India is world's first airline to use Taxibot on A320 aircraft
This device can tow the aircraft from the parking bays to the runway with their engines switched off, which will help save fuel.
AirIndia became the first airline in the world to use a Taxibot on an Airbus A320 aircraft operating a commercial flight with passengers onboard, on Tuesday at the Delhi international airport. A Taxibot (taxiing robot) is a pilot-controlled, semi-robotic, towbar-less aircraft tractor used as an alternate taxiing equipment. Air India chairman and managing director (CMD) Ashwani Lohani flagged off AI665 from Delhi to Mumbai at Terminal 3 today.
This device can tow the aircraft from the parking bays to the runway with their engines switched off, which will help save fuel and reduce the engine's wear and tear. The ignition will be turned on only when the aircraft reaches the runway, and these Taxibots will be used for departing flights only.
In a green initiative led by Capt Amitabh Singh, director, operations, this will help Air India curb carbon emissions, which will result in improving air quality and accelerate a greener aviation eco-system. The use of TaxiBots will bring down the consumption of fuel used during taxiing of aircraft by 85% and also help decongest boarding gates and apron area.
Recently, Capt Singh's team ensured the national carrier became the first Indian airline to chart the polar route to San Francisco, which had resulted in saving 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.
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