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airberlin technik to develop camera-guided parking system for aircraft

airberlin technik is to develop an innovative anti-collision monitoring technology for the manoeuvring of aircraft on the ground in collaboration with WheelTug plc and FTI Engineering Network GmbH. The partners have signed a Letter of Intent related to this as part of the Farnborough International Air Show in London.

In future the so-called "Pilot Ground Situation Awareness System" (PGSA) should enable pilots to manoeuvre unaided on the ground using cameras on the fuselage and vertical stabiliser as well as sensors placed on the wing tips. Until now, pilots have relied on either visual signals from the ground crew or push-back vehicles to move aircraft to and from the stand. The PGSA is being developed as a retrofit and should primarily increase the efficiency of ground operations.

The development, design and certification of the PGSA will be done by airberlin technik and FTI, a specialist in camera systems. WheelTug will provide the new system to its customers along with an electronic nose wheel drive system, which is also currently under development. Last year, airberlin was one of the first airlines in the world to sign a Letter of Intent with WheelTug for this new type of fuel-efficient electric drive.

"The airberlin group has always been keenly pursuing and supporting the development of new innovative technologies. The new PGSA system will be pointing the way to an improved economic and ecological future for aircraft ground operations. Most importantly, time savings will further improve efficiency of ground operations. We are very proud to be a part of this innovative project", said Werner Rothenbächer, Senior Vice President Technical airberlin.

"With our longtime experience in producing video based aircraft security systems we aim to make aircraft operation safer and more efficient. It is a pleasure to work in cooperation with airberlin technik and provide a video based awareness system for this WheelTug project", said Michael Weisel, CEO FTI.

"We are delighted to be working with airberlin technik, who join airberlin in being involved with the WheelTug system," said WheelTug CEO Isaiah Cox. "The Situational Awareness system will make a substantial difference to our customers by reducing the need for ground personnel during gate operations. This in turn will speed up turnarounds as a whole, and reduce ground delays that are the source of the vast majority of delays."

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