An average 15 minutes of taxiing at six of the busiest airports in the country is likely to cost airlines Rs 2,000 crore annually by 2021, compelling them to explore ways to reduce fuel consumption and switch to greener ways of steering the aircraft on the ground.
According to a study, the total fuel burnt is likely to increase by 40 per cent by 2021–going up from 1,67,000 tonnes in 2016 to 2,34,000 tonnes–as airlines expand their operations.
Of the total 85 operational airports in the country, airports at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata handle nearly 65 per cent of the total air traffic.
“Slots are almost over at major airports. This situation will result in an increase in waiting time for both departing and arriving aircraft,” said Lalit Gupta, Joint Director General, DGCA.
The experts say alternate ways of taxiing can help airlines save up to six per cent of their total fuel costs. Traditionally, an aircraft taxiing between the main terminal and runway uses jet engines causing a significant fuel burn.