TUI fly tests Taxibot at Brussels Airport

Brussels Airport and TUI fly will test a Taxibot to reduce the carbon emissions of aircraft during taxiing.

The tests are part of the Stargate programme, a European Green Deal project for greener aviation, where the biodiesel-powered Taxibot will tow aircraft instead of the aircraft taxiing using its engines.

The tests started on Monday 25 March after the TUI fly pilots were trained, and will run for three months to assess the benefits of using the Taxibot for cutting noise and emissions.

Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport, said: “It is very important to look into innovative solutions to reduce the environmental impact of our airport operations. The Taxibot offers a new and interesting alternative for taxiing, so by testing the Taxibot at Brussels Airport, we do not only look into its operational use but also we get a clearer view on the benefits using it in our infrastructure. A great collaboration with TUI fly, as our home carriers are equally committed to continue working on greener operations.”

Gunther Hofman, Managing Director TUI fly Western Region, added: “Since its creation, TUI fly Belgium has put sustainability at the heart of its flight operations. We are therefore proud, like all partners in Brussels Airport's Stargate project, to contribute to greener aviation. The use of the Taxibot is an important new step in this process. This innovative vehicle will allow us to tow aircraft while saving fuel and reducing CO2 emissions.”

The biodiesel-powered Taxibot pulls aircraft to their destination instead of aircraft using their engines for taxiing with the pilot remaining in control during the procedure and controlling the brakes.

The Taxibot reduces jet fuel consumption, can cut emissions by more than 80% and reduce the noise impact by up to 60% during taxiing.

Related articles