Celebi Aviation to Invest Rs 354 Crore Towards Taxibots for Indian Airports
The Delhi airport currently has two taxibots which have been deployed under a seven-year pact between Celebi Aviation and Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL).
Representational image. (Image source: Reuters)
Turkish ground-handling firm Celebi Aviation said that it plans to invest 45 million euros (Rs 354 Crore) in taxibot operations across Indian airports. A taxibot is a semi-robotic towbar-less aircraft tractor which can tow an aircraft from a terminal gate to the take-off point and return it to the gate after landing. It aids in reducing fuel cost, improves apron usage and reduces harmful gases.
At present, two taxibots are deployed at Delhi airport under a seven-year pact between Celebi and Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) and three more are expected to be deployed soon, the company said in a release. Delhi Airport is the first to initiate the deployment of taxibots, globally. A taxibot on average costs around 1.5 million euros (Rs 118 Crore). KSU Aviation, which is 50 per cent-owned by Celebi, provides these taxibots to the airlines.
"We have collaborated with KSU for the introduction of taxibots at Delhi International Airport. With a planned investment of around 45 million euros, we are looking forward to partner with other key Indian airports. "We are already in talks with a few of them (airports) who are keen to bring this technology into their ecosystem," said Murali Ramachandran, CEO-India, Celebi Aviation.
The company had recently signed an agreement with DIAL, which operates Delhi airport, to provide commercially operational taxibots for the next seven years. Celebi, which currently provides ground-handling services at Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Cochin, Ahmedabad and Kannur airports, along with KSU has invested around 6.5 million euros (Rs 51 Crore) into taxibots business, as per the release.
The two taxibots currently deployed at the Delhi airport are responsible for towing narrow-body aircraft from the terminal gate to the take-off point, with the aircraft engines turned-off. The pilot-controlled semi-automatic taxibots are designed to significantly reduce fuel consumption by 85 per cent and Foreign Object Damage (FOD) by 50 per cent, resulting in better safety and lesser congestion. Besides, taxibots are also expected to bring down carbon emissions and other noxious gases by 85 per cent and check noise pollution at the airports by 60 per cent, Celebi claimed in the release.
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