The airport ground-handling service provider Çelebi Aviation has announced that it plans to invest INR 354 crores in deploying taxibots across Indian airports.
Currently, Çelebi Aviation has a seven-year agreement with Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) for the deployment of taxibots at Delhi airport. It has already deployed two taxibots in the airport and plans to deploy three more soon. Delhi airport is the first to use taxibots in airports globally.
Taxibots are semi-automatic, pilot-controlled aircraft towing system which can bring the aircraft from a terminal to take-off point, and return the plane from the runway to the gate after landing. While using taxibots, the pilots need not switch on the aircraft until it reaches the runway saving fuel. It is attached to the plane, and with assistance from the pilot, the taxibot will then bring the plane from the apron area to the runway.
Taxibots reduce harmful emissions and noise. It reduces fuel consumption by 85% and Foreign Object Damage by 50%.
A taxibot is estimated to cost INR 118 crores. Israel Aerospace Industries & TLD is the manufacturer of taxibots and a company called KSU Aviation has the sale franchise to sell them to the airports. Çelebi Aviation has formed a partnership with KSU Aviation to deploy taxibots across Indian airports.
We have collaborated with KSU for the introduction of taxibots at Delhi International Airport. With a planned investment of around 45 million euros, we are looking forward to partner with other key Indian airports. We are already in talks with a few of them (airports) who are keen to bring this technology into their ecosystem, said Murali Ramachandran, CEO-India, Celebi Aviation.
Besides Delhi airport, Çelebi Aviation provides ground-handling services to Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Cochin, Ahmedabad and Kannur airports. The company has heavily invested in airport equipment like modern electric alternatives of step ladders, push back units, baggage loaders, etc.