It would help in saving fuel, reducing CO2 emissions as well as noise levels, according to officials
TaxiBot, a semi-robotic towing tractor, on Monday towed a SpiceJet aircraft to the runway, marking the first-time use of such a machine for a commercial aircraft in the country.
It would help in saving fuel, reducing CO2 emissions as well as noise levels, according to officials.
SpiceJet's Boeing 737 aircraft -- that was to fly to Goa -- was towed to the runway at Terminal 2 of the airport here, according to a release.
TaxiBot is connected to the nose wheel of the aircraft and enables the pilot to move the plane to the runway without switching on the plane's engines.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has designed the TaxiBots and have been manufactured by France's TLD, which is into making ground support equipment. KSU Aviation is providing the Taxibots to airlines in the country.
Currently, there are two TaxiBots at Delhi airport and would also be introduced at Mumbai airport, an official said.
Apart from SpiceJet, Jet Airways and IndiGo would also be using TaxiBots, according to IAI.
In the release, SpiceJet said TaxiBot would help in "saving up to 85 per cent of fuel consumed during taxiing besides substantial reduction of noise levels".
As per KSU Aviation, around 40 TaxiBots would arrive in the country over four years.
The company has the exclusive mandate from IAI and TLD to operate TaxiBots in India, it added.
Photograph: Amit Dave/Reuters