Green light for EADS-Israel Aerospace JV
Tuesday 17 July 2012
The European Commission authorised, on 16 July, the creation of a joint venture by the French firm Airbus SAS, part of European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company N.V. (EADS) of the Netherlands, and Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI). The joint venture will manufacture a pilot-controlled semi-robotic tugging tractor for aircraft called ‘Taxibot’. The tractor is innovative because it enables the aircraft pilot to taxi to and from the runway using the plane’s controls while relying on Taxibot’s engine and fuel, thus reducing jet fuel consumption. The target customers are airports, groundhandling service providers, leasing companies and airlines. An aircraft using Taxibot would be able to start its engines just before take-off and switch them off just after landing. The Commission found that, in spite of the strong position of Airbus on the closely related market for the supply of aircraft, the proposed transaction would not create competition problems. It is not likely to shut out rivals in the supply of new alternative taxiing solutions or the supply of aircraft.