Mumbai, October 15: Air India became the first airline in the world to use a TaxiBot on an Airbus A320 aircraft operating a commercial flight with passengers on board on Tuesday. A TaxiBot or a Taxiing Robot is a pilot-controlled semi-robotic towbar-less aircraft tractor used as alternate taxiing equipment.
According to a PTI report, Taxibot is used for taxiing an aircraft from parking bay to runway and vice versa. The aircraft of AI 665 Delhi-Mumbai flight, brought to the runway at IGI airport’s Terminal 3 using the TaxiBot, was flagged off by Air India CMD Ashwani Lohani. Air India Crises: 120 Airbus A-320 Pilots Tender Resignation After Salary Hike Denied.
“The use of Taxibot on the Air India aircraft at Indira Gandhi International Airport today morning is the first such usage on any Airbus aircraft worldwide. Really an achievement to be proud of. A giant step forward towards a cleaner environment,” Lohani as quoted in the report said.
Taxibots will significantly bring down the consumption of fuel by as much as 85 per cent used during taxiing of an aircraft. They will also help in decongesting boarding gates and the apron area by providing efficient pushbacks.
In other news, Air India is facing mass resignation by the pilots as they are unhappy with their salary and promotion. Around 120 Airbus A-320 pilots tendered their resignation after their demands pertaining to the salary hike and promotion were not paid heed to by the AI management.
(With inputs from agencies)