Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) is set to procure two special towing vehicles, TaxiBots, for moving aircraft in a sustainable manner.  

With this purchase, the airport is said to become Europe’s first airport to deploy TaxiBots.

This investment is part of Schiphol’s strategy to accelerate the process of making aviation more sustainable.

These special vehicles, which will arrive at AMS in mid-2022, will be provided by Smart Airport Systems.

An earlier trial at the airport indicated that sustainable taxiing has the potential to minimise CO₂, nitrogen and ultrafine particle emissions with nearly 50% less fuel usage during taxiing.

Fuel savings can touch up to 65% when aeroplanes taxi to the Polderbaan.

AMS has drafted a plan in collaboration with its partners for promoting green taxiing as a standard procedure.

These entities include Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL), KLM, Transavia, Corendon Dutch Airlines and ground handling firms dnata and KLM Ground Services.

Initially, the TaxiBots will undergo a follow-up trial at the airport, in which Swissport, TUI and Viggo will also take part.

In a statement, Schiphol said: “This is part of a European initiative, the ALBATROSS project, aimed at developing and demonstrating more sustainable flight operations for the whole gate-to-gate scenarios, applying multiple adopted strategies and solutions to save fuel for each stage of a flight.”

Eventually, the live trial will move towards a standard procedure, with certain kinds of aircraft taxiing sustainably at the Polderbaan runway.

For making sustainable taxiing to and from the Polderbaan a structural possibility, the airport will modify the infrastructure accordingly.

These modifications will be performed before the follow-up pilot starts.

At present, a few TaxiBots are in use at two Indian airports globally.

Last year in October, AMS disclosed plans for a 37% cumulative rise in airport charges mainly to recover losses caused by Covid-19.