WheelTug plc is pleased to announce an upcoming study in partnership with Václav Havel Airport Prague in the Czech Republic. The parties will cooperate on an assessment of the airport, evaluating how the WheelTug e-taxi system (electric motors installed in aircraft nose wheels) can improve the efficiency of the existing infrastructure through the implementation of FASTGates (Fast And Safe Turn Gates).
FASTGates are airport gates optimized for WheelTug e-taxi maneuvers, and studies such as this one will help prepare airports for WheelTug’s entry into service. Additional goals include analyzing how WheelTug will support the increasing automation of ground operations while simultaneously reducing CO2 and NOx emissions. This is in line with the industry’s move towards increased sustainability and environmental consciousness.
“As part of its ESG strategy, Prague Airport supports innovations with the potential to reduce CO2 emissions, this technology included. In addition, it could contribute, for example, to improved on-time performance,” Jiří Pos, Prague Airport CEO, said, adding: “We will be involved in the testing of WheelTug, and we hope that the unique technology will also increase the interest of air carriers seeking to reduce the environmental impact of their operations.”
This new project marks the latest in a long history of cooperation between WheelTug and Prague. The airport has hosted previous on-aircraft tests for WheelTug, and airport subsidiary CSAT has been assisting with landing gear tests. CSAT is also supporting the development of MRO procedures, and is a candidate for one of WheelTug’s authorized regional MRO locations. In addition, the WheelTug customer service organization is headquartered in Prague.
“It’s great to be working with Prague again – we look forward to partnering with our Czech colleagues once more to determine how WheelTug will benefitVáclav Havel Airport Prague and potentially airports across Europe,” said WheelTug CEO Isaiah Cox.
The Prague study follows the successful conclusion of a similar assessment at Chhatrapati Shivaji MaharajInternational Airport in Mumbai. There, WheelTug and the airport management determined that without major capital expenditures, introducing FASTGates will enable an additional 2-3 aircraft movements daily for each gate. The more efficient throughput will reduce traffic on Mumbai’s taxiways, offer safer and cleaner pushbacks, and provide tens of millions (USD) in ground operations savings.
About Václav Havel Airport Prague
Prague Airport is the business entity which performs the role of the operator of the most important international airport in the Czech Republic – Václav Havel Airport Prague. In the 2022 summer season, Václav Havel Airport Prague is connected by direct flights with about 150 destinations thanks to the offer of 58 air carriers. Four airlines, namely Smartwings, Ryanair, Eurowings, and Czech Airlines, use Prague as their base.
About WheelTug plc
WheelTug plc is developing the WheelTug® aircraft electric drive system, which will allow pilots to maneuver aircraft autonomously both forward and in reverse. More than 25 airlines representing 2000+ aircraft have already reserved slots for WheelTug systems.