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Posted at: Oct 15, 2019, 11:38 AM; last updated: Oct 15, 2019, 6:59 PM (IST)

Air India first airline to use Taxibot on aircraft with passengers on board

Air India first airline to use Taxibot on aircraft with passengers on board
On Tuesday morning, the national carrier’s Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani flagged off flight AI665 -which was carried to runway using Taxibot at terminal 3 of the Delhi airport-to Mumbai. File photo

New Delhi, October 15

Air India on Tuesday became the first airline in the world to use a Taxibot on an A320 aircraft with passengers on board.

Taxibot is a robotised aircraft tractor for taxiing an aircraft from parking bay to runway and vice versa.

On Tuesday morning, the national carrier’s Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani flagged off flight AI665 --which was carried to runway using Taxibot at terminal 3 of the Delhi airport--to Mumbai.

With Taxibot it is possible to tow an aircraft from the parking bay to the runway with its engines switched off.

It is a pilot-controlled semi-robotic towbarless aircraft tractor used as alternative taxiing equipment.

“The use of Taxibot on the Air India aircraft at Indira Gandhi International Airport today morning is the first such usage on any Airbus aircraft worldwide. Really an achievement to be proud of. A giant step forward towards a cleaner environment,” Lohani said.

An Air India spokesperson said, “Taxibot saves precious fuel and reduces engine wear and tear. The ignition will be turned only when the aircraft reaches the runway.”

These Taxibots would be used for departing flights only, he added.

The spokesperson said the usage of Taxibots would significantly bring down the consumption of fuel by as much as 85 per cent used during taxiing of an aircraft.

Taxibots would also help in decongesting boarding gates and the apron area by providing efficient pushbacks, he added. PTI

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