NEW DELHI — India’s official carrier Air India on Tuesday became the first airline in the world to use a ‘Taxibot’ on an A-320 aircraft with passengers on board, Xinhua news agency quoted state-run broadcaster ‘All India Radio’.
‘Taxibot’ is a robot-used aircraft tractor for taxiing an aircraft from parking bay to runway and vice-versa. The state-run media quoted Air India Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani as saying that it is the first such usage on any Airbus aircraft worldwide. ‘Taxibots’ will be used for departing flights only. It is a giant step forward towards a cleaner environment. It will bring down the consumption of fuel by 85 per cent and reduce engine wear and tear. The ignition will be turned only when the aircraft reaches the runway.
Lohani on Tuesday flagged off flight AI665 bound for Mumbai, which was carried to the runway using ‘Taxibot’ at Terminal-3 of the Delhi airport, it added.