Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has given its nod for the usage of taxibots in Delhi airport for testing or piloting purposes. These taxibots would have their engine shut off from the parking bay to the runway holding point. It is being said that the use of taxibots would bring significant improvement in keeping a check on pollution. SpiceJet and Jet Airways would be the first one to use taxibots at Indira Gandhi International airport (IGI) in Delhi.
Checking Pollution By Use of Taxibots
As per a statement by KSU spokesperson, 800 kg of carbon dioxide is emitted for every 15 minutes of taxing. The use of these taxibots in Delhi airport will help the carriers cut down on carbon dioxide emission by a huge volume. With the pilot of these taxibots to begin shortly, it is being expected that by mid-October they would be put into commercial usage. It is also worth noting that every year, 80 million tons of carbon dioxide is emitted every year because of aircraft taxing.
Reduction in Noise and Foreign Object Damage
Apart from cutting down on pollution and carbon dioxide emission, the taxibots will also help in reducing the noise by 60%. The foreign object damaging has also been expected to come down by 50% by the use of taxibots. Authorities have said that by putting taxibots to use it will also be successful in keeping a check on 85% of fuel usage.
Certification for Putting Taxibots to Use
It is worth noting that the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is the body which developed these new technology taxing vehicles. The Israeli authority has already publicized its agreement with India based KSU aviation for the use of taxibots in the country. The Civil Aviation ministry has informed the Parliament that the aviation watchdog has “accepted 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”.
Other Metros to Possibly Follow After Delhi
Speaking about the new taxibots, the KSU spokesperson said “These are alternative taxing solution and would be used for towing only single-aisle aircrafts. It would be sort of remote controlled by the pilot from the aircraft till the runway holding point and all the while the engine would remain shut, thus bringing down pollution.” He further said that right now in IGI, the operational procedures for the use of taxibots in Delhi airport are being finalised.
The spokesperson remarked that airport operators in Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru have also shown interest in adoption of taxibots for towing flights. Right now, 40 units of taxibots have been ordered to be used in IGI. These vehicles will firstly arrive in Chennai and then they will be transported to Delhi.