Ground handling service provider Celebi Aviation is planning to invest up to €45m to bring Taxibots to several Indian airports.
The Taxibot is a semi-robotic towbarless aircraft tractor developed by the Lahav Division of Israel Aerospace Industries.
It enables airplane taxiing without engines running, controlled by the pilot and without shortening NLG lifetime.
Celebi Aviation plans to make the investment in the next five to six years to offer an eco-friendly taxiing solution to airlines and airports.
Celebi Aviation CEO of India Murali Ramachandran was quoted by The Hindu as saying: “We plan to bring 30-40 Taxibots to Indian airports over this time period. Apart from Delhi Airport, where Taxibot operations have already commenced, we are also in talks with Bengaluru and Hyderabad airports.”
The company has partnered with KSU Aviation, which signed an exclusive sales agreement with Israel Aerospace Industries and TLD to deploy the units across India.
Celebi has so far invested about €6.5m, with each of the units costing up to €1.5m.
The Taxibots introduced at Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) make it the first airport in the world to use the service. Celebi intends to provide commercially operational Taxibots to DIAL for the next 10 years.
The Taxibots intend to reduce fuel consumption by 85%, and bring down the emission of carbon dioxide and other noxious gases by 85%.
Celebi stepped into the aviation industry with the establishment of Celebi Ground Handling in 1958 by Ali Cavit Çelebioğlu as Turkey’s first privately-owned ground handling services firm.