Dallas/Fort Worth Airport to update its automated docking technology

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Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) in Texas has ordered 42 advanced visual docking guidance systems (A-VDGS) from ADB Safegate to replace the airport’s older A-VDGS on Terminal B gates.

The solution is called Safedock FleX and is scheduled to be delivered in 2022. It uses ADB Safegate’s infrared laser and 3D scanning technique to help avoid disruptions and enable faster aircraft parking, which in turn reduces fuel burn and emissions. The modular design of the Safedock FleX has a separate scanning unit and pilot display for improved flexibility in mounting to support tight parking positions at the airport and optimize views for pilots and ground crew.

In addition, the FleX has double the scanning area that the older systems had, to accommodate complex gate layouts and enable centerline changes without repositioning the A-VDGS. A full-color LED display will provide docking guidance to pilots and communicate critical ramp information display system (RIDS) messages to the ground crew to improve situational awareness during aircraft turnaround.

DFW and ADB Safegate are also working together on a pilot program for the digital apron that will use the Safedock FleX onboard camera and SafeControl Apron Management (SAM) system to introduce artificial intelligence to enable more predictive apron operations. The digital apron pilot program is part of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) Airport Consortium on Customer Trust (ACT) Program and is set to take place before 2023.

Mike Youngs, vice president of information technology services at DFW, said, “Our goal is to use advanced technologies, integrated systems and data to create a more consistent and efficient airside operation to better serve air travelers and our airline partners. The Safedock A-VDGS not only provides smoother aircraft parking, but the systems are uniquely capable of collecting and sharing data to further improve operations.”

Nick Haines, vice president of the Americas division at ADB Safegate, added, “We are very pleased to play a role in bringing innovative technologies to futureproof apron operations at DFW. Our next-generation A-VDGS are key to our Digital Apron offering of advanced technologies that include data analysis, artificial intelligence and video surveillance to achieve efficient, safe and sustainable, all-weather airport operations.”

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