WheelTug and Düsseldorf sign MOU for feasibility study

Written by: Samantha Payne |
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E-taxi pioneer WheelTug plc and Düsseldorf Airport have signed a MOU on conducting a FASTGate (Fast And Safe Turn) feasibility study.

Dusseldorf Airport and WheelTug intend to work together on this feasibility study with the view that airside operations need to not only become more cost-effective but safer and greener.

The goal is to assess the airport capabilities for e-taxi procedures and identify process, safety, and technological gaps, and the corresponding mitigation measures that will enable the airport to take full advantage of WheelTug benefits.

"We look forward to working with Düsseldorf on bringing the WheelTug system and its benefits to Germany," commented WheelTug CEO Isaiah Cox. "We are very excited about the upcoming feasibility study, as the WheelTug system could fit very well into our sustainability strategy. In addition to reducing emissions, the opportunity to make apron procedures more efficient is a promising one for us," said Lars Mosdorf, CFO of Flughafen Düsseldorf GmbH.

The WheelTug system consists of motorised nose wheels that allow the pilot to maneuver the aircraft independently. By reducing time spent at the gate and using the APU instead of the main engines for ground movement, WheelTug not only increases airside efficiency and aircraft utilisation, it also significantly decreases carbon and noise emissions. The study will quantify these benefits as well as other financial and non-financial airside benefits for the airport coming from WheelTug equipped aircraft arriving at its gates.

A recent similar feasibility study that the group finalised at Mumbai International Airport quantified yearly airside operational savings at tens of millions of US dollars, alongside with increased safety and reduced congestion and carbon emissions.

WheelTug has signed letters of intent with two dozen airlines on five continents that have already secured delivery slot positions for more than 2,000 WheelTug systems.

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