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Safran to simulate electric taxi operations at major airports

Safran Landing Systems has partnered with aviation education providers in China and France to study potential benefits of electric taxiing at “major” international airports.

The manufacturer says it has signed a tentative agreement with France’s national civil aviation school ENAC and the Civil Aviation University of China to “simulate taxiing operations at certain targeted airports”.

CAUC and ENAC will concentrate on gateways in Asia and Europe, respectively, while the two schools will share methods and analyses.

Safran says the simulation will enable it to enhance an electric taxi system – which is being developed in partnership with Airbus – “in terms of different airport configurations”.

“This solution would be especially advantageous at very busy airports, where taxiing operations may take up to 40 minutes,” Safran says.

Safran Landing Systems chief executive Jean-Paul Alary says the study will “guarantee the complete success of a programme that promises major improvements for both airports and airlines”.

The manufacturer previously developed with Honeywell a main landing gear-mounted electric taxi system, a prototype version of which was demonstrated on an Airbus A320 at the 2013 Paris air show.

However, that project was later abandoned, partly as a result of declining fuel prices at the time, with Safran then opting to work with Airbus.

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