Dallas Fort Worth International Airport to deploy latest automated docking technology from ADB SAFEGATE

Dallas Fort Worth, Texas USA
September 15, 2022

Safedock FleX offers intelligent advancements in automated docking and apron management technology

The Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) is the first to add ADB SAFEGATE’s latest advanced visual docking guidance system (A-VDGS) – the Safedock FleX. The airport has ordered 42 Safedock FleX systems to replace older A-VDGS on Terminal B gates, as part of an airport-wide technology refresh aimed at improving operational performance and the passenger experience.

DFW is the world’s second busiest airport and largest carbon neutral airport. The airport has been operating ADB SAFEGATE’s Safedock A-VDGS since 2008, with systems currently in use on all 168 gates. The new systems are scheduled to be delivered in 2022.

Safedock FleX utilizes ADB SAFEGATE’s proven infrared laser and 3D scanning technique that DFW, and hundreds of other airports, have come to rely on for efficient and safe automated aircraft docking during regular and irregular operations. Intelligent advancements in A-VDGS technology help avoid disruptions to enable faster aircraft parking, which in turn improves the passenger experience while reducing fuel burn and emissions.

Mike Youngs, Vice President – Information Technology Services at DFW, says, “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.”

DFW has long been a technology leader and was ADB SAFEGATE’s launch customer for its SafeControl Apron Management (SAM) system in 2011. SAM integrates the A-VDGS with flight information systems and other gate systems/equipment to collect and share data to provide real-time management of the apron. Today, DFW and ADB SAFEGATE are working together on an exciting pilot program for the Digital Apron that will utilize the Safedock FleX onboard camera and SAM to introduce artificial intelligence to enable more predictive apron operations. The Digital Apron pilot program is part of AAAE’s Airport Consortium on Customer Trust (ACT) Program and is set to take place this fall.

The modular design of the Safedock FleX offers a separate scanning unit and pilot display for greater flexibility in mounting to support tight parking positions at the airport and optimize views for pilots and ground crew. In addition, the FleX boasts double the scanning area as the older systems to accommodate complex gate layouts and allow centerline changes without repositioning the A-VDGS.

A modern, full-color LED display will provide intuitive docking guidance to pilots and communicate critical Ramp Information Display System (RIDS) messages to ground crew to improve situational awareness during aircraft turnaround. 

“We are very pleased to play a role in bringing innovative technologies to future proof apron operations at DFW,” said Nick Haines, VP Americas for ADB SAFEGATE. “Our next generation A-VDGS are key to our Digital Apron offering of advanced technologies that includes data analysis, artificial intelligence and video surveillance to achieve efficient, safe and sustainable, all-weather airport operations.”

DFW has also been a long-time user of ADB SAFEGATE airfield solutions including airfield lighting control and monitoring systems (ALCMS), airfield power solutions and thousands of runway and taxiway lights; both elevated and inset. 

See ADB SAFEGATE and the Safedock FleX at booth #913 at the upcoming ACI-NA 2022 Annual Conference & Exhibition, September 17-20 in Minneapolis.