AirAsia India, a low-cost carrier and one of four airlines owned by India’s Tata Group, has been testing TaxiBot devices on two of its planes and is now assessing the savings. While the airline isn’t the first in the world to adopt engineless taxing systems, it does suggest a rising usage of environmentally friendly technologies in the aviation industry.
AirAsia India has been utilising TaxiBot on two of its Airbus A320 aircraft for a few months and is now reviewing how much fuel it has saved. This is being done to evaluate how best to implement this service across the entire fleet, according to a top executive at the airline.
TaxiBot is a semi-robotic aeroplane movement equipment developed by Israel Aerospace Industries that moves an aircraft from the terminal gate to the take-off position (taxi-out phase) and returns it to the gate after landing (taxi-in phase).
When asked how much money AirAsia India had saved since switching to this alternate taxing system, the airline responded that it has saved a lot of money. Surinder Bansal, the company’s Engineering Vice President, noted that the costs of the modifications vs the savings are currently being assessed before they are used in additional planes.