Schiphol airport in Amsterdam and Bangalore airport in India could deploy TaxiBot pilot-controlled semi-robotic vehicle post COVID-19 crisis, with developer Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) having begun testing at the dromes.
“IAI with its partners TLD and SAS is expanding its TaxiBot operation and deployment to additional airports: Schiphol in Amsterdam and Bangalore Airport in India,” the company said in a release Wednesday.
With the COVID-19 crisis bringing the operations in airports to a near-halt, airports are using their time and space for testing various developments and ways to streamline their operations.
The Amsterdam airport recently started a pilot of aircraft taxiing with the TaxiBot (taxiboting) to streamline the process. The airport at Bangalore, India, is also testing the system in order to start operating just after COVID-19 will reopen.
The TaxiBot, developed by IAI’s aviation group and TLD, is a pilot-controlled semi-robotic towbarless aircraft tractor used as an alternate taxiing equipment to pull the aircraft from parking bay to the runway.
It does not require turning on an airplane’s engines. The taxiboting process saves 85% of the fuel burned during taxying and similar savings in greenhouse gas emissions.
Additional benefits of taxiboting include 60% noise reduction and 50%-reduction of damages caused by foreign objects sucked into the engines during taxying.
In October 2019, state-owned Air India became the first airline in the world to use a TaxiBot on its Airbus A320 with passengers on board.