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Interjet First American Airline to Support Electric Green Taxiing System

14 April 2014

Honeywell and Safran have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Mexican airline Interjet, to support the advancement of the EGTS taxiing system, a technology for use on the taxiway and runway, which brings both fuel savings and emissions reductions to airlines. Interjet is the first airline in America to collaborate on the EGTS program, following easyJet, Air France and GoAir. 

EGTS, the result of a joint venture between Honeywell and Safran, uses motors on the aircraft’s main landing gear to enable it to push back from the gate and taxi using its own electrical power rather than its main engines. This can save airlines as much as four percent block fuel consumption every flight. In January 2014 EGTS International announced an MoU with Airbus to explore the potential for integrating the EGTS taxiing system on the airframer’s A320 Family, under a program Airbus calls “eTaxi”. 

“We have been working for a number of years with both Safran and Honeywell on innovative projects to reduce our environmental impact,” said José Luis Garcia, CEO of Interjet. “This agreement is the next logical step in our collaboration to further reduce our carbon footprint.” 

Under the agreement, Interjet will share data on its taxiing procedures and in particular, in high altitude airports, where Interjet frequently operates. The low air density prevalent in these types of airports impacts aircraft performance, requiring airlines to adapt operating procedures to these conditions. Interjet and the EGTS team will evaluate together the operational parameters required for electric taxiing operations in these environments. 

“Interjet will help us to confirm that EGTS is the only on-board system currently in development capable of generating enough traction during taxiing in all weather conditions and at all airports,” said Brian Wenig, vice president EGTS Program, Honeywell. “The partnership will also help us refine system capabilities for operation in different environmental conditions that change the demand placed on the Auxillary Power Unit, used to provide power the EGTS motors.” 

This agreement is the second environmental collaboration between the three parties. In 2011, Both Safran and Honeywell supported Interjet in its first commercial flight with biofuels. Powered by CFM56* engines, the Airbus A320 used a blend of 27 percent biofuel derived from the jatropha crop and 73 percent ordinary kerosene. The jatropha used by Interjet was grown in the Chiapas region of Mexico and converted into jet fuel by Honeywell UOP. 

“We are extremely pleased to embark Interjet on this ambitious program,” said Olivier Savin, vice president EGTS Program, Safran. “The airline has been a true pioneer in commercial aviation in Mexico since the 1930s. Supporting EGTS demonstrates once again its commitment to innovation and greener technologies for the Mexican aerospace industry.” 

* CFM56 is a trademark of CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran) and GE.

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