IAI's TaxiBot® certified for Boeing 737 series

By Aeromag Asia 30-Sep-2016


The Boeing 737 NG has been officially certified for TaxiBot® dispatch towing. The Supplement Type Certificate (STC) was issued by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel (CAAI). This milestone completes certification for the Boeing 737 family, thus covering the Boeing 737-600, 737-700,737-800,737-900 and 737-900ER, in addition to prior certification of the Boeing 737-300,737-400 and 737-500.

TaxiBot, a semi-robotic pilot-controlled vehicle, is designed to transport commercial airline aircraft from terminal gates to the runway and back, without using the airplane's own engines. The TaxiBot has been dispatch-towing commercial Lufthansa Boeing 737 (Classic) flights departing out of Frankfurt Airport from November 2014.

Since 2008 IAI, along with its industrial risk-sharing partner TLD, has been cooperating with Lufthansa LEOS in the development of the TaxiBot, with the support of both OEMs Airbus and Boeing. Lufthansa LEOS has integrated the TaxiBot project into its “E-PORT-AN” initiative, aimed at taking passenger airplane towing and surface traffic performance beyond the existing limits of environmental sustainability at Frankfurt Airport.

Leading airlines, ground-handling companies, airports and leasing companies around the world have shown considerable interest in TaxiBot. Several working groups are actively studying and preparing to introduce TaxiBot in some of the world’s leading airport hubs, in North America, Europe and Asia.

“EASA certification of the B737 NG is an additional benchmark for the TaxiBot program" said  Ran Braier, Director of Civil Robotics at IAI It enables operation of this innovative system with major airline fleets in leading airports while revolutionizing the commercial aviation industry, thereby saving millions of dollars in fuel costs, improving operations and contributing to the global environment.”