“Air India has partnered with KSU Aviation to launch the use of TLD TaxiBots at Delhi and Bengaluru airports, starting with A320 family of aircraft. The adoption of the semi-robotic equipment enables a potential saving of approximately 15k tonnes in fuel consumption over three years, reducing cost for the airline. Air India seeks further deployment across its subsidiaries and other airports.”
Schiphol and partners have started conducting follow-up sustainable taxiing tests. At the airport, a KLM plane drove from Schiphol-Centre to and from a platform near the Zwanenburgbaan Runway with its engines switched off. This way of taxiing can significantly reduce fuel consumption and therefore CO2, nitrogen and ultrafine particle emissions. This trial run marks the start of various tests with the two semi-robotic taxiing systems that Schiphol purchased earlier this year.
TaxiBots will be deployed at the airport over the next year and a half. The TaxiBots will take some planes to a location further away from the gate and en route to the runway to start their engines there. Further operational experience with this vehicle will be gained by carrying out pushbacks and by towing empty aircraft.
Polderbaan preparations According to the original plan, continual test drives to and from the Polderbaan Runway were to have been carried out at the moment. The plan has been modified and now studies, simulations and tests will be carried out over the next eighteen months and as much experience as possible will be gained with the TaxiBots. The aim is to test, introduce and scale up new procedures for sustainable taxiing to and from the Polderbaan, among other locations, from mid-2024.
Sustainable taxiing as standard Schiphol is striving for sustainable taxiing at the airport in 2030, together with Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL), KLM, Transavia, Corendon Dutch Airlines, TUIfly and ground handling companies dnata, Swissport, Viggo, KLM Ground Services and TaxiBot provider Smart Airport Systems. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management is supporting the initiative. The tests are part of European initiatives within the framework of the ALBATROSS-consortium and its successor: HERON. These subsidy projects aim to make aviation more sustainable.
TLD TaxiBot pictures reproduced with kind permission from Royal Schiphol Group.
The Ground Handling International Annual Conference is the global aviation community’s favourite forum for exchanging new business opportunities and championing ground service excellence.
Since its debut in 1999 – the Annual has forged a proud reputation for providing quality networking, premium content and outstanding customer service.
TLD is a leading industrial company specializing in the design, manufacture, distribution and after-sales service and support of aviation ground support equipment…
…so please join us on booth E71, and find out how our ‘Leaner&Greener’ range of GSE can benefit your operation AND the environment.
AirAsia India deploys revolutionary TaxiBot operations at Bengaluru International Airport National, 10th June 2022: As one of the key initiatives during Tata Sustainability
Month, AirAsia India today flagged off the commencement of TaxiBot operations at Bengaluru International Airport, following successful trials and subsequent implementation at Delhi International Airport. The flag-off event was attended by Mr Sunil Bhaskaran, MD & CEO, AirAsia India, Capt. Manish Uppal, Head of Operations, AirAsia India, Mr Hari Marar, MD & CEO, Bangalore International Airport Limited and Mr Murali Ramachandran, CEO, Celebi Aviation. With the commencement of TaxiBot operations in Delhi in February this year, AirAsia India became the first airline globally to initiate TaxiBot services with passengers onboard modified aircraft. AirAsia India tied up with KSU Aviation, the exclusive operator of the TaxiBot in India.
TaxiBot is a semi-robotic aircraft towing device that is a green alternative to save fuel, reduce CO₂ emissions and noise pollution, decrease aircraft wear and tear, and minimise instances of Jet Blast and Foreign Object Damage, improving efficiency and enhancing safety in the parking area. TaxiBot is an alternate taxiing solution which can tow aircraft from the aircraft boarding gate to the active runway without utilising the aircraft engines.
“We’re proud to be the first airline globally to initiate TaxiBot services on modified aircraft with passengers on board. Following the successful trials and implementation in Delhi, we are delighted to be commencing TaxiBot operations at our largest hub, Bangalore, as well. In addition to driving the adoption of sustainable aviation, TaxiBot leverages technology to drive differentiation and efficiency in operations, leading the way forward for a cleaner and greener ecosystem.” said Sunil Bhaskaran, MD & CEO, AirAsia India.
Hari Marar, MD and CEO, Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) said, “We are the second airport globally to deploy a TaxiBot at our airside operations. With AirAsia India adopting this state-of-the-art technology at BLR airport, we are positive that this will further ensure adoption by more airline partners as a part of their day-to-day operations. Environmental sustainability coupled with the vision of leaving a cleaner and better world for our future generations has been at the heart of BIAL’s sustainability initiatives. We take pride in accomplishing energy neutrality, water positivity and reducing our carbon footprint thereby ensuring that BIAL continues to remain at the forefront in driving sustainability.” Dr Ashwani Khanna, Director, KSU, said “AirAsia India has emerged as a trendsetter in alternate taxiing solutions by further deploying TaxiBot Operations to their second Base Airport i.e. KIA, Bangalore Airport. M/S KSU Aviation in close coordination with its stakeholders envisages phased deployment of 07 TaxiBot units in the next 05 years at KIA Airport, Bangalore, this would assist the airport operator and airline to jointly reduce ~35,000 Tons of Carbon Emission annually at KIA Airport, Bangalore.”
TaxiBot is proclaimed as the green revolution in aeroplane taxiing, helping enhance fuel efficiency and predictive maintenance and services. As a Tata Group company, AirAsia India is celebrating Tata Sustainability Month (TSM) this June, which endeavours to build a group-wide sustainability culture in alignment with the airline’s sustainability goals.
Schiphol is going to buy two Smart Airport Systems TaxiBots, special towing vehicles that enable aircraft to taxi sustainably. Schiphol is Europe’s first airport to start using TaxiBots. The investment is part of Schiphol’s plan to speed up the process of making aviation more sustainable and is an addition to the investments the airport previously decided to make.
“2022 is a crucial year for sustainability in the aviation sector. We are accelerating measures to reduce emissions and improve local air quality. That’s important for the climate, our employees and local residents. We’re Europeans first and one of the few airports worldwide working on implementing sustainable taxiing on a large scale. Schiphol is a frontrunner, which makes me proud,” says Dick Benschop, CEO of Royal Schiphol Group.
Sustainable Taxiing The sustainable taxiing process sees aircraft being taken to and from the runway by a special towing vehicle whereby the aircraft engines stay largely switched off. Schiphol is buying two of these special vehicles from Smart Airport Systems; they will arrive at the airport in mid-2022. There are currently a few TaxiBots in use at two Indian airports around the world.
A previous pilot study at Schiphol showed that sustainable taxiing leads to around fifty percent less fuel consumption during taxiing and therefore lowers CO2, nitrogen and ultrafine particle emissions. Given the distance involved, these fuel savings can reach up to 65% percent when aircraft taxi to the Polderbaan.
Standard Procedure Schiphol has drawn up a plan together with Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL), KLM, Transavia, Corendon Dutch Airlines and ground handling companies dnata and KLM Ground Services to ensure that sustainable taxiing will be standard procedure at Schiphol. The first step will be the deployment of these two special aircraft towing vehicles for a follow-up pilot study at Schiphol, in which TUI, Viggo and Swissport will also participate. This pilot will transition to a standard procedure, with certain types of aircraft taxiing sustainably to and from the Polderbaan runway.
Preparations Underway Modifications to infrastructure are already being made in order to make sustainable taxiing to and from the Polderbaan a structural possibility. These changes will be implemented before the follow-up pilot begins. One example is the markings on the asphalt that ensure aircraft stop in the right place so that they can be disconnected from the towing vehicle. Roads also need to be widened to enable the special vehicles to drive to and from the Polderbaan before and after taxiing has taken place without disrupting other (taxiing) traffic. Royal Schiphol Group wants to operate the most sustainable airports and aims to have an emission-free ground operation at its Dutch airports by 2030.