Green and Sustainable System

  • Safer Taxiing Operations – Leading to Fewer Ground Collisions
  • Substantial Fuel Savings
  • Improves Air Quality – Reducing Harmful Emissions
  • Reduces Personnel & Equipment Around Congested Gate Area
  • Operates in All Weather Conditions (Ice, Snow, Rain and Fog)
  • Higher Airport Throughput (without adding gates) – Optimizing Aircraft Movements
  • Decreasing Noise In and Around Airports
  • Extending Aircraft Jet Engine and Component Life
  • Reducing Chances of FOD in Main Jet Engines
  • Less Stress on Airframes During Taxi


Each year there are several hundred aircraft collisions during taxiing operations. Fortunately, most accidents do not endanger the lives of passengers, but negatively impact the daily operations of airports and airlines. These collisions cause substantial financial losses (estimated $50B annually) and disrupt airport operations impacting passengers.

The ATS system would add an entirely new layer of safety by maintaining positive control of the aircraft creating a safer towing environment.

  • Aircraft cannot deviate from the predetermined path

  • Sensors detect luggage carts, fuel trucks, other aircraft & animals

  • Pilot maintains control of aircraft – disconnect with brakes or throttle

  • Optimizes aircraft traffic on taxi-lanes

  • Stacks aircraft closer together – engines are shut off during taxi movements

In an emergency, towed aircraft are stopped immediately with notifications about the incident going to ground traffic control, pilots and other taxiing aircrafts. The system automatically reacts to such a situation and adjusts the movements of other affected aircraft accordingly.

ATS will help eliminate most ground collisions at airports!

ATS IMPROVES AIR QUALITY – Reducing Harmful Emissions

 With the ATS system installed, the main jet engines are shut down during taxi. Currently, aircraft use thrust from the main jet engines to move around airports. THrust puts large amounts several different types of harmful engine emissions output from jet engines burning petroleum-based fuel. Carbon dioxide, nitric oxide, hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide are the four most harmful.

  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Hydrocarbon
  • Carbon Monoxide

About 20 lbs of carbon dioxide emissions are generated per gallon of fuel burned and nitrous oxides are produced at a rate one-half percent of CO2 rates.

Emission Savings Example: Frankfurt Airport if ATS were installed

Average Fuel burned during taxi: 9 gals or 35 liters per minute

Average Taxi Time: 16 minutes

Average Aircraft Movements per year: over 500,000

Fuel Consumption: 500,000 movements x 16 min (taxi time) x 9 gal (fuel) = 74M gallons or 280M liters of fuel used during taxi

Harmful Emissions: carbon-dioxide (CO2) & nitrous oxides (NOx)

CO2 emissions generate 20 lbs. per gallon of fuel burned

NOx produces at rate .5% of CO2 rates

74M gallons x 20 lbs = 148M lbs or 67M kg of CO2 not emitted at Frankfurt

148M lbs x .5% = 740,000 lbs or 340,000 kg of NOx not emitted at Frankfurt

The following amounts of gasses were released into the atmosphere from aircraft taxiing at three major European airports (Frankfurt, London-Heathrow and Charles de Gaulle) in 2016.

Symbol Description Value European Unit Value US Unit

Symbol Description Value European Unit Value US Unit
HC Hydrocarbons 1.7M kg 3.7M lb
CO2 Carbon Dioxide 3.6M kg 7.9M lb
NOx Nitric Oxide 4.5M kg 9.9M lb
CO Carbon Monoxide 20.8 kg 45.9M lb

Note: Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, nitric oxides are carcinogenic & carbon monoxide is lethal to humans.

"Global use of ATS can play a significant role in improving the environment."

Reduces Personnel & Equipment Around Congested Gate Area

The current method of moving aircraft around the gate area utilizes a tug, tow bar, 3-4 people and a technique as old as human flight. ATS eliminates the need for tugs, towbars and personnel to move aircraft, reducing the ground clutter around the gate area. This creates a safer operating environment reducing the chance of human errors and helps meet a long-standing goal of the FAA. With the ATS system installed, there is no more waiting on ground crews to push back or to receive an aircraft at the gate. Gate crews will not be needed to dock or marshal aircraft, which will reduce wait times for gate operations. The aircraft is always positioned correctly at the proper location for the jet bridge, reducing passenger wait time.


 ATS is designed to transport aircraft between runway and gate without using the main aircraft engines. Depending on the type and size of aircraft, fuel usage for one minute of taxi time is approximately 5-19 gallons or 19-73 liters per minute. Average fuel usage for passenger aircraft is about 9 gallons or 35 liters per minute while taxiing . In the US at major airports the average taxi time is 16-27 minutes and 200,000 to over 900,000 aircraft movements per year.

Fuel Savings Example:

Average Fuel burned during taxi: 9 gals or 35 liters per minute

Average Taxi Time: 16 minutes

Average Aircraft Movements per year: over 500,000

Fuel Consumption:

9 gallons of fuel per minute x 16 minutes taxi time = 144 gallons of fuel per taxi

144 gallons of fuel per taxi x $3.52 per gallon = $507 per movement

500,000 movements x $507 per movement = over $254M or €244M per year in fuel savings

Note: The electrical cost to move the same aircraft with the ATS system is less than $9.00 per movement in the US, depending on the region of the country and cost of electricity.

Prices of fuel have a significant impact on the amount of savings from fuel usage (see graph below).


ATS is an all-weather system able to operate during adverse weather conditions such as rain, fog, ice and snow. No more dealing with aircraft slipping off the taxiway due to inclement weather. ATS does not rely on pilot or control tower line of sight to move aircraft. ATS knows and monitors the exact location and movement of every aircraft in the system regardless of weather.


The ATS system can be configured to adjust standard ground movement speeds to match current operations or optimize them for ground traffic flows. Testing will show the ATS system has a connect/disconnect time that will not adversely affect the airline's operational efficiency and will most likely increase operational efficiency. It is expected the time necessary to disconnect and clear from the tow dolly at the runway or to connect to the tow dolly as an aircraft exits the runway will be less than one minute. All gate, flight and taxiway operations are programmed into the ATS system to optimize the current manual system. Oklahoma State University estimated airport throughput could be increased by up to 30% at some airports using the ATS system without adding any gates, provided there are no runway limitations.

Higher Airport Throughput

ATS greatly reduces the negative consequences of human errors by optimizing taxi times, gate-pushback (no stops after pushback) and eliminating congestion on taxiways. Gate crews are not needed to dock or marshal aircraft, which will reduce wait times for gate operations. Taxi speeds, right of way and the distance between planes are constantly recalculated by the ATS system to optimize movements.

Faster Aircraft Movements

Loading and unloading aircraft from the pullcar occurs within a matter of moments . Currently, pushback from the gate is accomplished in an average of 4 minutes using a tug, towbar and crew of 3-4 people. ATS will decrease these 4 minutes since the aircraft remains loaded into the pullcar at all time at the gate . At pushback, the ATS system immediately begins pushing the aircraft away from the gate along the channel and does not stop until the aircraft has reached the runway . This also decreases the chances of collisions with ground vehicles and other aircraft .

The number of flight operations around the world increases every year . Increased flight operations equate to increased airport ground movements at airports . Aircraft movements at major US hubs average approximately 500,000 movements per year . The more aircraft movements at an airport increases the amount of time saved which yields additional capacity .

Gate Optimization

Integration of the ATS ground control system to the flight control tower allows for more significant optimization of airport gates and quicker departure times . Planes will not move until their allotted time and slot in the ATS system . ATS significantly reduces negative consequences of human-induced errors by optimizing taxi times, gate pushback, and eliminating congestion on taxiways. There is no more waiting on a gate for a gate crew to dock and marshal an aircraft. ATS improves operations during adverse weather conditions such as rain, fog, ice and snow as it is an all-weather system.


ATS will significantly reduce jet engine noise at and around airports. Pilots turn off their main jet engines while aircraft are being transported to and from runways, taxiways and gates. Noise is a long standing problem at airports and often the number one reason people complain about airports.


The FAA defines FOD (Foreign Object Debris) as “any object, live or not, located in an inappropriate location in the airport environment that has the capacity to injure airport or air carrier personnel and damage aircraft.” Modern jet engines can suffer major or catastrophic damage from small objects being ingested into the engines. Anything from a bird to a loose bolt on the runway can cause FOD damage to an aircraft engine. FOD is found at terminal gates, cargo aprons, taxiways, runways, and run-up pads.

When ATS is installed in an airport the jet engines are not running at the terminal, cargo aprons and taxiways. Without the engines running, there is no likelihood of debris being sucked into the engines. This greatly reduces the chances of damaging an engine due to FOD.


Aircraft towing is an essential part of daily operations at airports worldwide. The safest way to move aircraft on the ground is through the use of aircraft towing equipment. Without aircraft towing equipment, airports open themselves up to the possibility of dangerous accidents that can jeopardize the safety of ground crews, passengers, and aircraft. The following reasons is why towing is preferred over using jet engine thrust to move aircraft: (Eagletugs)

  1. Aircraft engines can create hazardous conditions
  2. Aircraft towing is easier for maintenance purposes
  3. Pilots have limited visibility for the flight deck
  4. Terminal tow-in gates are confined spaces
  5. Pushback tugs are required for aircraft going in reverse

There is also less stress on airframes when towing aircraft as opposed to moving them with thrust.


Airlines will see increased jet engine and component life as pilots turn off their main jet engines during taxi. ATS uses an electro hydraulic pullcars to transport aircraft to and from runways and gates via taxiways.

Engine Life Savings Example: San Diego Airport
Average domestic US flight: 1200 miles for an approximate
Time duration: Two hours and 45 minutes
Average taxi time: 12-18 minutes (engine runtime reduced per flight)

28,000 additional availableengine run hours per year (Jviation Business Case Analysis)

The additional available engine run hours yields increased flying hours between maintenance cycles and downtimes. Components (fuel pumps, gear boxes, etc.) that use engine runtime hours to determine maintenance cycles gain the same flying hours between maintenance intervals. Engine maintenance and component costs are spread over the additional flying hours which reduces the cost per flying hour.