WheelTug, an aircraft electronic taxi systems provider, announced today that the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has accepted the certification plans for the WheelTug aircraft electric drive system for Boeing 737NG aircraft.

The WheelTug system enables an airplane to taxi forward and backward, using small electric motors in its nosewheels rather than jet engines or a tow tug.

The FAA Seattle Aircraft Certification Office has approved the Project Specific Certification Plans for the WheelTug system.

WheelTug said that these plans detail how WheelTug will comply with all relevant regulations in order to be granted a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC). The STC is a key document for aircraft operation, and once granted, WheelTug can be installed on aircraft.

The company claimed that the system will benefit airlines by well over $1 million per airplane per year, reduce fuel consumption and emissions at airports, and save up to 20 minutes in ground time between flights. Additionally, WheelTug will enable airplanes to parallel park at terminal gates, using two doors for narrowbody boarding and deplaning will allow for even more expedited travel.