TaxiBot aircraft tow-tractor goes on trial at Amsterdam Schiphol

The TaxiBot aircraft tow-tractor is expected to remain on test at Amsterdam until June. (Schiphol)

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport has announced that it is hosting sustainable aircraft taxi trials using TaxiBot tow-tractors.

The TaxiBot should ultimately tow departing aircraft – that have their engines switched off – to the runway, where they will start their engines for take-off, thereby saving the fuel that they would have used while taxiing under their own power.

The tests are being conducted by Schiphol in cooperation with its air traffic control provider, the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, Corendon Dutch Airlines, KLM, Transavia and easyJet. Aircraft handling will be provided dnata and KLM Ground Services. The trials began by towing an empty Corendon airliner to several runways and, if the tests are successful, the trials will move on to use operational aircraft.

The Taxibot vehicle belongs to Smart Airport Systems; a sister company of the GSE supplier, TLD. The vehicle is one of only ten in the world and the trials will last until June.