Laser rangefinding: American Airlines installs Safegate airline docking system at O'Hare

Malmö, Sweden--Safegate Group, provider of automated aircraft docking guidance solutions, was awarded a contract by American Airlines to install its laser-rangefinding-based Safedock advanced visual docking guidance system (A-VDGS) on 30 mainline gates at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. Completed earlier this month, the O’Hare installation--essentially a laser rangefinding system, more commonly known as light detection and ranging or LIDAR--represents the fourth of four major American Airlines hubs to employ the Safegate technology. Already an industry standard in Europe and Asia, the Safedock system is quickly gaining popularity in the U.S. because of its safety, efficiency, and environmental benefits.

Safedock systems were installed at the airline’s other major hubs in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Miami, and New York to increase efficiency and safety in ground operations, as well as improve the customer experience, because of the system’s ability to eliminate delays from unmet flights and significantly minimize delays during irregular operating conditions. The Safedock system’s unique ability to automatically guide pilots to the gate and allow them to self-park aircraft, means that passengers and crew can deplane at the gate even when ramp personnel cannot be present due to lightning and other severe weather.

Using a high-performance laser rangefinder and light-emitting diode (LED) display, Safedock guides pilots to within 10 cm of the stop position in a consistent, safe, and time-saving manner, regardless of the weather, time of day or size of the aircraft. The efficiency of the system helps to ensure that aircraft occupy a gate only as long as necessary, saving time and resources. At an airport with 20 gates, one extra docking per day is the equivalent of adding two new gates, resulting in deferring up to $20 million in capital investment.

With the O’Hare installation, American Airlines now has a total of 181 mainline gates utilizing the automated docking system. The system is managed via a GOS gate operating system located at American Airlines’ headquarters providing a centralized view of all major hub operations. To further leverage their investment, the system includes RIDS (ramp information display system) to display critical flight information for ground and flight crew via the Safedock LED display whenever the system isn’t actively docking aircraft.

By reducing aircraft taxi time and time to gate, the Safedock system helps airlines control fuel costs by reducing fuel burn, and protects the environment with the corresponding reduction in CO2 emissions.

SOURCE: Safegate Group;

Posted by: Gail Overton 

Subscribe now to Laser Focus World magazine; It’s free! 

Follow us on Twitter

Get All the Laser Focus World News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to Laser Focus World Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now

Most Popular Articles


Understanding Polarization and Optical Coatings

Light is an electromagnetic wave, but, at optical frequencies, it is its electric field that interacts with materials, with the direction of the electric fie...

In-Situ Infrared Sensing using Calibration-Free Scanned-WMS Laser Absorption Spectroscopy

This presentation, sponsored by Wavelength Electronics and ILX Lightwave, will discuss the range of sensing capabilities offered by scanned-WMS in the near- ...

Wave Optics Simulations

An add-on to COMSOL Multiphysics®, the Wave Optics Module offers capabilities for modeling optical phenomena. The innovative beam envelope method is among th...

Mid-infrared lasers in remote chemical sensing – from stand-off detection to atmospheric sounding

In this webcast, Gerard Wysocki of MIRTHE will discuss the unique remote-sensing capabilities enabled by modern mid-infrared (mid-IR) lasers and novel spectr...

Lens Design – Tools for designing manufacturable aspheres for complex optical assemblies

Designing aspheres that may be successfully fabricated and tested can be a frustrating experience. The range of possible aspheres is much larger than the ran...

Femtosecond Lasers – Getting the Photons to the Work Area

Ultrashort-pulse lasers, both picosecond and femtosecond, are now available from a large number of manufacturers, with new players entering the field at a ra...
White Papers

High-Power Diode Lasers under External Optical Feedback

We carried out a comprehensive study on single emitters with different antireflection (AR) coatin...

LED Reflector and Lens Simulation using TracePro® Illumination Design and Analysis Software

TracePro® allows users to design, analyze, and optimize LED lighting systems using software simul...

Tamarisk® Custom Lens Calibration

Though the Tamarisk product line is optimally designed to suit a variety of end-uses, DRS has dev...
Technical Digests
There is no current content available.

Click here to have your products listed in the Laser Focus World Buyers Guide.


AFL's Enterprise Services Division Recognized for Safety

05/27/2015 AFL was honored and two locations received a Gold Award for safety.

AFL Associates Receive Patent Awards

05/27/2015 Two AFL associates receive Patent awards for their innovations which enhance technologies for cer...

AFL Acquires AFC Group

05/27/2015 AFC, a leading manufacturer, designer and integrator of fiber optic and copper communication solu...

CeramOptec: Holger Bauerle new Head of Industrial Sales

05/19/2015 Since the middle of February Holger Bäuerle has been the new Head of Industrial Sales at CeramOpt...
Social Activity
Copyright © 2007-2014. PennWell Corporation, Tulsa, OK. All Rights Reserved. PRIVACY POLICY | TERMS AND CONDITIONS