ADB SAFEGATE helps reduce congestion at Bole International Airport

ADDIS ABABA. Ethiopia not only plays a strategic role for Africa’s aviation sector, but because of its location, it serves as a cross road between Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the Far East. Addis Ababa Bole Airport is important to Ethiopia’s industry sector, mainly for the export of perishable goods, for which Bole Airport has improved its cargo infrastructure, and also increasingly for tourism. Both are main pillars for the fast growing economy of Ethiopia. Ethiopia has big plans for its airports. And, it is no secret that the land-locked Ethiopia has big plans to turn itself into Africa’s chief aviation hub.

First turnkey A-VDGS solution deployment in Africa automates airport’s apron operations to enable more efficient and safer aircraft ground movement

The Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (ADD) is one of the busiest airports in East Africa and the main operating hub for national carrier, Ethiopian Airlines. The airport, operated by Ethiopian Airports Enterprise (EAE), was facing severe aircraft congestion at fourteen remote stands due to limited apron space and difficult manual guiding conditions during peak hours. In an open bid, EAE decided to bring ADB SAFEGATE on board to implement its Safedock Advanced Visual Docking Guidance Systems (A-VDGS) to allow safe and smooth operations within the apron area.

“Ethiopian Airlines is one of our busiest airlines at the airport that operates many international routes. Manual parking at remote stands was causing flight delays, especially during peak hours, and was increasingly becoming a risk Ethiopian Airlines refused to take. There was an urgent need to transform the current manual processes at the remote stands. ADB SAFEGATE had been a long-standing partner, providing us airfield lighting solutions in the past, therefore it was only natural for us to turn to them for this key project,” said Getaneh Adera Nigussie, Director Airport Facilities Ethiopian Airport Enterprise.

EAE appointed ADB SAFEGATE to deploy its Safedock A-VDGS and control system to enable automated aircraft parking. As part of the turnkey deployment, ADB SAFEGATE provided the masts, cabling and installation of the A-VDGS at the fourteen stands. Together with the control system, the automated solution reduces congestion caused by aircraft waiting to pull into occupied or unstaffed gates and eliminates delays that occur when marshallers are unavailable. The system further improves efficiency by reducing taxi-in times and shortening turnaround times. Safedock A-VDGS ensure safe parking in tight spaces by verifying aircraft/gate compatibility and preventing parking of incompatible aircraft at adjacent gates to avoid the risk of wing-tip collisions.

“Our vision has always been to deliver a safe and efficient gate operation for airports and their airline partners. Bole International Airport is an important hub for East Africa. With the installation of Safedock A-VDGS and our control system, we have been successful in automating apron operations to make the aircraft parking and turnaround process safer and more efficient for EAE’s leading customer, Ethiopian Airlines, thereby improving overall airport performance,” said Christian Onselaere, CEO, ADB SAFEGATE.

As a highly-standardized industry, aviation is widely considered a leader in technological development. It is important for airports to keep up with the latest level of automation which is vital to assuring safe and efficient operations, from pushback to on-block time at the gate.

“Since Africa is experiencing high growth in air traffic, more and more pilots expect to receive the same level of support of ground movement at their destination airport. With ADB SAFEGATE providing A-VDGS to Addis Ababa Bole Airport, Ethiopian Airports Enterprise has taken another step in making its hub a convenient airport to travel to and a competitive hub in the region,”  saidAlexandros Kakanis Area Sales Manager.

ADB SAFEGATE is a leading provider of intelligent solutions that deliver superior airport performance from approach to departure. We partner with airports and airlines to analyze their current structures and operations, and jointly identify and solve bottlenecks. Our consultative approach enables airports to improve efficiency, enhance safety and environmental sustainability, as well as reduce operational costs. Our portfolio includes solutions and services that harmonize airport performance, tackling every aspect of traffic handling and guidance, from approach, runway and taxiway lighting, to tower-based traffic control systems and intelligent gate and docking automation. ADB SAFEGATE has 900+ employees in more than 20 countries and serves some 2,500+ airports in more than 175 countries.

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Alexander Herring
General Manager Africa