In another green initiative for Indian airports, the ground handling service provider Çelebi Aviation is introducing ‘Taxibots’ at key airports. The Taxibots reduce fuel consumption by 85% and Foreign Object Damage by 50%, according to a statement released by Çelebi Aviation.
For those who are new to the term ‘Taxibots’, these are pilot-controlled, semi-automatic robotic machines that are used to bring flights from the parking bay to runway with engines switched off. The pilots can switch on the plane’s engines only when it reaches the runway starting point.
Technically, when a Taxibot is attached to the plane, it will lift the plane’s nose wheel. With assistance from the pilot, the Taxibot will then take the plane from the apron area to the runway.
Currently, the aircraft engines are switched on after the closure of passenger boarding and remain switched on till the plane reaches the runway.
Taxibots can thus help in reducing the fuel cost and noise pollution; reduce the emissions and congestion at boarding gate; and save aircraft brakes from major damages.
Çelebi Aviation has formed a partnership with KSU Aviation, which has a sale agreement with Israel Aerospace Industries & TLD for the deployment of Taxibots at Indian airports.
Çelebi Aviation has signed an agreement with Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) to provide Taxibots for the next 10 years. Currently, two Taxibots are deployed at Delhi airport. More Taxibots will be deployed soon.
One Taxibot costs 1.5 million Euros. Çelebi Aviation has invested around 6.5 million Euros into Taxibot business.
Murali Ramachandran, CEO – India of Çelebi Aviation expressed his delight in the opportunity to collaborate with KSU for the introduction of Taxibots at the Delhi International Airport. We are being a part of this revolutionary green initiative. We are also thankful to DGCA for being extremely supportive of the initiative. We are looking forward to partner with other key airports of India and are already in talks with a few of them who are very keen to bring this technology offer into their respective ecosystems, he said.
In line with our vision, the Taxibots too will aid in reducing fuel cost, improving apron usage and reducing harmful gas emissions, Çelebi Aviation CEO added.
Çelebi Aviation is a known name in the Indian aviation industry and the company has heavily invested in airport equipment like modern electric alternatives of step ladders, push back units, baggage loaders, etc.