IN yet another endeavor to go green, SpiceJet, the country’s favourite carrier, today operated India’s first TaxiBot at Terminal 2, Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi. SpiceJet used it to tow the Boeing 737 for the flight.
SpiceJet flight SG 8171, scheduled to fly on the Delhi-Goa route, was towed by the TaxiBot from the jet bridge to the runway before it departed from Terminal 2, Delhi at 12 noon. The flight was flagged off by R N Choubey, civil aviation secretary and Ajay Singh, chairman, and managing director, SpiceJet.
The TaxiBot is a pilot controlled semi-robotic towing tractor. Connected to the aircraft, the vehicle tows it from the jet bridge to the runway, close to the take-off point. The TaxiBot operations are unique as it lifts and holds the aircraft nose wheel enabling the pilot to transport the aircraft to the runway without using the plane’s own engines. This, therefore, results in saving up to 85 per cent of fuel consumed during taxiing besides substantial reduction of noise levels.
SpiceJet has always been in the forefront in practicing initiatives that can lead to more Green miles. SpiceJet is the first and only Indian airline to successfully conduct the country’s first-ever BioJet Fuel powered flight which was operated on the Dehradun-Delhi route in August. BioJet fuel has the potential of reducing carbon footprint by 15 per cent.
Other green initiatives of the airline include plantation drives, solar power projects, distribution of seed cards, Clean Ganga Fund, installing rooftop solar panels in Majuli to provide a complete village with clean power and many more.
The airline has also initiated new food packaging which will go a long way in reducing the dependence on plastic and therefore will promote a culture of recycling. Strategic use of trays will be used in place of the current packaging. These trays are reusable and also recyclable, which makes them extremely environment-friendly.
SpiceJet, earlier this month, inducted its very first 737 MAX 8 from the mega order of 205 aircraft it placed last year. The fuel-efficient Max planes are expected to reduce fuel consumption by about 15 per cent. The advanced technology winglet in these aircraft helps reduce the drag and further enhances fuel efficiency while reducing noise footprint by 40 per cent. Complete induction of Max fleet will bring in savings of 22,000 tonnes of fuel each year enabling SpiceJet to be much ahead of IATA target of 2020 and 2025.