TaxiBot, Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) (TASE: ARSP.B1) semi-robotic pilot-controlled vehicle for dispatch towing passenger jets has obtained EASA certification for operation with the Airbus A320 aircraft family. The certification includes the approval for engine start-up during taxi for all types of the A318-319-320-321 aircraft including the NEO variants. TaxiBot is designed to transport commercial airline aircraft from terminal gates to the runway and back, without using the airplane's own engines, thus generating significant savings in fuel and reducing pollution around the airport. TaxiBot started dispatch-towing commercial Lufthansa Boeing 737 (Classic) flights departing out of Frankfurt Airport in November 2014.
Since 2008, IAI, together with its industrial risk-sharing partner TLD, has been cooperating with Lufthansa LEOS in the development of the TaxiBot, with support of both OEMs Airbus and Boeing. Lufthansa LEOS has integrated the TaxiBot project into its “E-PORT-AN” initiative, aimed at taking passenger airplane towing and surface-traffic performance beyond the existing limits of environmental sustainability at Frankfurt Airport.
Certification of the A320 aircraft family by Airbus and EASA is valid also for the FAA and it joins existing certification for operation of the TaxiBot with all types of the B737 aircraft. The certification for both A320 and B737 families covers more than 70% of the entire worldwide commercial airlines flights, which could be provided with TaxiBot service.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 18, 2017
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