A sneak peek into Delhi Airport's Sustainable Taxiing Milestone

21 May 2021

Inching towards its commitment to ensure environment sustainability in and around its vicinity, Delhi Airport has completed 1,000 successful taxibot movements earlier this month. This has helped the airport in reducing around ~532 tonnes of Carbon and has also helped the airlines in saving around ~214,000 litres of aviation turbine fuel (ATF), which is supposed to be burned by the aircraft during taxiing.

In May 2019, Delhi Airport introduced TaxiBot, a semi-robotic hybrid special purpose vehicle to tow aircraft from terminal to runway and vice-versa. This made them the world's first and the only airport to have an environment-friendly taxing solution. Certified by India's Civil Aviation Regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) of the US, EASA of Europe and CAAI of Israel, TaxiBot is currently the only operational, environment-friendly alternative taxiing system in the market.


Getting into its specifications, TaxiBot is a semi-robotic towbarless aircraft movement equipment developed by the Israel Aerospace Industries. The 800-hp hybrid-electric engine, controlled by the pilot from the cockpit using the regular pilot controls, can move an aircraft from the terminal gate to the take-off point (taxi-out phase) and return it to the gate after landing (taxi-in phase).

The adoption of TaxiBot at Delhi Airport was one of the strategic initiatives undertaken by DIAL (Delhi International Airport Limited) to reduce on carbon emissions by planes, as part of its objective to become a "net zero carbon emission airport" by 2030. Considered as one of the country's busiest airport, Delhi airport handled around 1,400 air traffic movements before the pandemic hit the aviation sector. However, the airport has always been on the forefront to adopt various measures to reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emission.

It has adopted Airport Carbon Accreditation program of Airport Council International (ACI) for managing greenhouse gas emissions and is currently certified at "Level 4+, Transition". It is the first Airport in Asia Pacific and only the second airport globally to achieve this Level. It was also the first airport in Asia pacific in 2016 to achieve "Level 3+, Neutrality" of ACI.

Some of the other key sustainability initiatives adopted by DIAL at Delhi Airport to reduce GHG emissions includes -- LEED (Gold) and IGBC (Platinum) certified green building infrastructure, 7.84 MW solar plant, energy management system certified under ISO-50001, energy efficient infrastructure, use of Bridge Mounted Equipment, adoption of Airport Collaborative Decision (A-CDM) making, adoption of electric mobility, water management infrastructure such as 16.6 MLD Zero Liquid Discharge Sewage Treatment Plant, rain water harvesting, multi modal connectivity etc.


At present, two TaxiBots are operational with three airlines, and their numbers at Delhi Airport will go up to 15 over a period of four years. Taxibots have not only reduced the carbon emission but have also helped Delhi Airport in significantly reducing the risk of foreign object debris (FOD) damage to the aircraft during its ground movement and taxiing noise at the airport. It is resourceful to ATC as TaxiBots offer faster apron clearance and assist airlines in reducing turnaround time for its ground operations.

The reduction in carbon emissions by use of TaxiBot establishes DIAL as an environment-friendly organisation. This is a major milestone not only for DIAL but also for aviation sector globally, in terms of promoting and adopting alternative and green taxiing solution.