Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and TLD Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Air France to evaluate the use of the TaxiBot system, on Air France Wide Body (WB) fleet operation, at Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) airport.
IAI, TLD and Air France will form a joint task force to study TaxiBot’s operational and economic benefits to Air France WB aircraft family. The system’s impact on CDG airport taxiing flow will be studied, as well as TaxiBot’s ecological benefits – substantial reduction of CO2 and NOx emission and noise reduction. This MOU may be extended to testing feasibility with the cooperation of Aéroports de Paris, on the second quarter of 2015.
The MOU was signed, after a preliminary study conducted by the Airbus team in CDG and Service Technique de l'Aviation Civile (STAC) expert, proved to be successful. Simulations indicated that a TaxiBot fleet serving sixteen Narrow Body (NB) aircraft and seven WB aircraft will be able to operate optimally in CDG.
TaxiBot is a semi-robotic, pilot-controlled vehicle, designed to transport airplanes from airport gate to the runway and back, without using the airplane's engines. The TaxiBot system has completed certification tests in Frankfurt International Airport. Tests were conducted on a Lufthansa B737 airplane in accordance with the official EASA and CAAI flight governing authorities
The WB TaxiBot started dynamic testing at the New TLD factory in Sorigny, France, inaugurated on September 2014 for TaxiBot production. The WB TaxiBot will be suitable for all twin aisle airplanes; A330, A340, A350, A380, B747, B767, B777 and B787. The certification tests of the WB TaxiBot with a WB airplane is schedule for the third quarter of 2015 aiming to get STC for the first WB airplane type by the end of the year.
TaxiBot can be used with narrow or wide body airplanes, and does not increase the airplane’s weight or reduce its cargo space, as no modification to the airplane's systems are required. A significant reduction in fuel consumption is achieved by using TaxiBot, regardless of the flight range.