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Asia Campus

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Graduate Student Works

Advisor Name

Kim L. Chua


Aircraft taxiing operations in the aerodrome were identified to consume the most jet fuel apart from the cruise phase of the flight. This was also well supported by various research associating taxi operations at large, congested airports, with high jet fuel consumption, high carbon emissions, and noise pollution. Existing literature recognised the potential to address the environmental issues of aerodrome taxi operations by operating External or Onboard Aircraft Ground Propulsion Systems (AGPS). Designed to power aircraft with sources other than their main engines, external Aircraft Ground Power Systems (AGPS) have shown the potential to significantly cut jet fuel consumption and carbon emissions by as much as 98%. They also mitigate the risk of Foreign Object Damage (FOD) and decrease noise pollution around the aerodrome.

Nevertheless, current AGPS systems come with certain limitations that offer room for enhancement. These improvements can further reduce greenhouse gas emissions, elevate safety standards, and optimize human resource allocation. The proposed, Fully Electric Autonomous TaxiBot (FEAT) tractor combines two excellent external AGPS tractors with an autonomous capability, and should be developed to replace current-day traditional towtugs.

The FEAT tractor operates by pushing back aircraft out of the stand, towing it to the runway under the pilot's control without the aircraft's main engines running, disconnecting with the aircraft short of the runway, and returning to Apron autonomously while the aircraft prepares for departure. This is a viable solution to combat the identified environmental impacts of taxi operations and improves on the limitations of existing technology.

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