Sustainable taxiing:: A bold step forward or pie in the sky?

Air travel brings the world within our reach. But flying also has a downside: its impact on people and the planet. These are issues that concern many people and we are no exception. That’s why we have devoted much of our working lives to making aviation more sustainable. Schiphol aims to operate the most sustainable and high-quality airports in the world and to achieve emission-free operations at its own locations by 2030. While it will be decades before we can expect to see emission-free aircraft on a large scale at airports, we cannot simply sit around and wait for good things to happen. There are other ways to make an impact. Sustainable taxiing has a major role to play.

Dirk Bresser and Simon Prent and the taxibot

Who are we?

Allow us to introduce ourselves: we are Dirk Bresser and Simon Prent. Building on our extensive background in aviation and airport operations, around three years ago we first started talking about what has since become known as ‘sustainable taxiing’. It’s an umbrella term for various techniques for moving aircraft from A to B on the ground, without using the engines of the aircraft itself. This is one of the main ways in which aviation can make a contribution to easing environmental problems in the relatively short term. We have already given an interview and published a press release on the subject.

Why launch a blog?

While sustainable taxiing is at the centre of our world, we fully understand that most people have other things on their mind. Sustainable taxi concepts are something of a niche within the aviation sector. However, they can make a substantial difference to problems that affect each and every one of us. Wider interest generates a wide range of opinions. Hardly surprising, therefore, that sustainable taxiing has got people talking. All kinds of questions arise. If it’s such a good idea, why haven’t we been taxiing sustainably for years? Does sustainable taxiing really make sense? What types of sustainable taxiing are there? Questions we plan to answer in this series of blogs on the subject.

Our aim

Sustainable taxiing presents more of a challenge than you might expect, but the opportunities it offers also exceed most people’s expectations. Opportunities that are too great to ignore. By telling the whole story and opening up a dialogue, we can help each other take advantage of these opportunities. Not only in the Netherlands but worldwide, our aim is to maximise the potential of this innovation to make aviation more sustainable.

Interested in finding out more about the opportunities we have in mind? Follow our blogs and share your thoughts with us directly on LinkedIn.

Fact sheet

Would you like to read more about the background to the Sustainable Taxiing pilot project at Schiphol?

Read the previous blogs:

  • Sustainable taxiing: which route will we take?

    Published on:

    In this blog we will talk in more detail about A-SMGCS, which is an important prerequisite for the introduction of sustainable taxiing at major airports.

  • Is sustainable taxiing possible at a busy Schiphol

    Published on:

    Thanks to the taxibot trial we know the prerequisites for sustainable taxiing. But more research was needed into the scalability of the concept.

  • Sustainable taxiing: Taxibot trial

    Published on:

    We carried out a Taxibot trial at Schiphol between March and August 2020. In this blog we tell you how that went and what we learned from it.