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Airbus is embracing a green taxiing technology that would cut fuel consumption – and pollution at airports – substantially.

The electric green taxiing system, or EGTS, is being developed by technology giants Honeywell and Safran.

This is how the technology works. EGTS photo

This is how the technology works. EGTS photo

It was demonstrated at the Paris Airshow in June.

The European aircraft manufacturer says it has signed a memorandum of understanding with EGTS International, a joint venture between Honeywell and Safran, to adopt EGTS for its A320 family of single-aisle airliners.

Airbus is calling it eTaxi.

The company says the system would allow the aircraft to push back from the gate without a tug, taxi out to the runway, and return to the gate after landing without operating the main engines.

The power will come from electric motors fitted to the airplane’s main landing gear wheels.

“Following our demonstration of the technology at this year’s Paris Airshow, this MoU marks the next critical milestone in the advancement of the electric green taxiing system as an option for Airbus A320 family,” said Brian Wenig, EGTS program vice-president at Honeywell Aerospace.

Olivier Savin, EGTS program vice-president at Safran, says the agreement is significant in the development of the system.

“Through this agreement we are creating the ideal context to collaborate to best utilize our own landing gear systems expertise to develop a green taxiing solution for the A320 family.”

Airbus says eTaxi will offer several operational and environmental benefits, including up to four per cent savings in fuel consumption and four per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

“Over the next few months the partners will jointly develop and present a global commercial case and implementation plan to determine the feasibility of an electric taxiing solution for the A320 family,” Airbus said Tuesday.

The system is expected to be installed on new aircraft in 2016.