The Port of Seattle enters final phase of airport-wide project to improve gate performance

posted on 23rd July 2020 by Eddie Saunders
The Port of Seattle enters final phase of airport-wide project to improve gate performance

The Port of Seattle chose airside construction expert, AERO BridgeWorks, to implement a state-of-the-art Advanced Visual Docking Guidance System (A-VDGS) and apron management solution on 72 gates at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). The project specified Safedock A-VDGS from airport performance leader, ADB SAFEGATE.

The Port of Seattle owns and operates SEA, which has seen significant growth in recent years, serving 51.8 million passengers in 2019 and becoming the 8th largest airport in the U.S. To meet demand, the Port is constructing a new International Arrivals Facility (IAF), expanding its North Satellite and is moving toward providing a common experience at all gates for flight crews and ground handling teams. The Port procured ADB SAFEGATE’s Safedock and SafeControl Apron Management systems in 2018 for its new IAF gates, also installed by AERO BridgeWorks, as well as all North Satellite gates and has now created a project to install Safedock on remaining gates. Deploying the ADB SAFEGATE technology allows the airport to leverage gate use to meet demand and is key to creating a safe and efficient common operating environment at all gates.

When the project is completed, every airline (domestic and international) will be docking with Safedock A-VDGS. Robert H. Kikillus, AAE, Airport Operations Manager, SEA says, “Our goal is to enhance ramp safety airport-wide while creating a more consistent and efficient airside operation to better serve air travelers and our airline partners.”

The Port is expanding the automated system airport-wide by adding 72 Safedock
A-VDGS at gates on Concourses B, C, D and the South Satellite, in addition to the North Satellite and IAF gates. AERO BridgeWorks will be the turnkey provider responsible for the installation of the systems including terminal modifications, infrastructure and communication and power lines.

“As the prime contractor, we are happy to partner with ADB SAFEGATE on this key project for the Port and their airlines,” said Jay Grantham, President, AERO BridgeWorks. “We have been working with the Port since 2010 and can provide the kind of collaboration and coordination needed for a seamless implementation, even with the added complexities of working during the Coronavirus pandemic.”

ADB SAFEGATE will integrate the new A-VDGS with the airport’s existing SafeControl Apron Management (SAM) system. SAM integration software will connect all Safedock A-VDGS to enable automated aircraft docking, and will provide the Port and its airlines with real on-gate and off-gate information to optimize gate usage and turn times.

The automated solution features an aircraft verification check and a safety interlock with the passenger boarding bridge to ensure aircraft/gate compatibility and safe docking. To further support ramp safety initiatives at SEA, the Safedock A-VDGS scans the gate area before every arrival and alerts pilots of any obstacles in the way.

The project will set up integration with the Airport Operational Database and other airport systems and equipment, such as the passenger boarding bridges, ground power units and pre-conditioned air, to provide availability data and usage statistics to the Port and its airline partners. In addition to parking aircraft, the Safedock A-VDGS offers a ramp information display (RIDS) capability to display critical flight information to ramp workers to aid in the turnaround process. It will also extend real-time video of each docking for gate scheduling and airline asset tracking.

Further, the system will help the airport identify areas needing attention by providing key information such as operational events and alarms, the docking success rate and a breakdown of operations by airline, gate, terminal and other factors.

“We are very pleased to play a role in the Port of Seattle’s effort to enhance ramp safety and boost gate performance at SEA. We will work with them to ensure the highest level of safety and efficiency and to future proof their gate operation,” added Joe Pokoj, CEO ADB SAFEGATE Americas.

Installation of the new A-VDGS will begin in July and systems will come online as each concourse is completed with the project expected to be completed by late August of 2021.