Wellington Airport in New Zealand has launched a fully automated aerobridge docking system to accelerate passenger boarding and disembarking from the aircraft.

The aerobridge has been deployed at one of the airport’s domestic gates, making the airport the first aerodrome in the world to use this technology.

Wellington-based firm Airport Equipment has developed the automated aerobridge, known as the Intellidock system.

As soon as an airplane is parked at its allocated gate, the bridge sensor scans the aircraft door and automatically moves the Intellidock system into position and locks it into place.

“This type of automated technology will become the new standard in airport operations around the world in the next ten years.”

Wellington Airport aeronautical operations general manager Ayolt Wiertsema: “This new technology eliminates possible operator error and will speed up the arrivals process. It is fantastic that Wellington Airport is the first airport in the world using this technology developed by a local supplier.

“It requires a lot of work behind the scenes, as you’re essentially setting up the working model for others. This type of automated technology will become the new standard in airport operations around the world in the next ten years.”

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Air New Zealand successfully trialled the automated aerobridge docking system prior to launch and it is now part of its standard daily operations.

Wiertsema further stated: “It will improve turnaround times and ultimately result in a better and faster experience for passengers.”

The airport is considering launching the automated docking system into other gates later this year.

Wellington Airport was officially opened in October 1959 and flies approximately six million travellers direct to 25 destinations across the globe every year.