We live in a world where it seems our lives are tied to devices. From our calendars to our bank accounts, we now have the ability to summon all of our details through an app on our phones. We can even put trackers on our luggage to watch their progress through our travels. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could also track our airside operations with the same ease? Well, now we can.

The aviation industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world. By 2035, it is estimated that the industry will require over 38,000 new commercial aircraft, and that passenger traffic will double by 2037. As this growth continues, airports and airlines must find new ways to improve efficiency, sustainability, and customer experience.

 Regardt Willer, VP business development and innovation, ADB SAFEGATE

 Regardt Willer, VP business development and innovation

Airside 4.0 is a solution that connects airside operations to the cloud in order to help airports achieve these goals by providing a real-time operational view of their airside infrastructure and operations. By leveraging the power of the Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, automation, and big data analytics, Airside 4.0 promises to transform airside management and usher in a new era of efficiency and sustainability for the aviation industry.

The key advantages of Airside 4.0 condense down into four critical swimlanes: equipment and resource management, asset management infrastructure, energy utilisation, and ground movement control – all helping save time and costs, increase peace of mind, and improve market position. 

ADB SAFEGATE airside ecosystem

The digital transformation technology enables smarter decision-making and improved situational awareness at airports

Equipment and resources

Airside 4.0 helps airports optimise their resource utilisation, including personnel, ground support equipment, and other assets. It provides data-driven insights into areas where capital and operational expenditures can be optimised, thereby leading to enhanced cost efficiencies and resource optimisation. Additionally, this new technology can help ensure efficient compliance with regulations and adherence to prescribed safety protocols. There is also a sustainability improvement, since fewer resources are consumed due to a reduced number of interventions required.


The A-VDGS collects and distributes real-time gate intelligence and flight information between stakeholders

Additionally, Airside 4.0 revolutionises the airfield maintenance process. With integrated IoT sensors, airfield lighting fixtures are capable of providing real-time operational data, informing the maintenance team the moment that a fixture becomes misaligned or damaged, resulting in fewer routine visual checks being needed, and pinpointing the exact locations and diagnostic information maintenance personnel need. As a result, Airside 4.0 empowers airports to achieve operational excellence and has a transformational impact, resulting in an over 57% reduction to routine maintenance costs for airports already utilising the technology. 

Predictive maintenance enables the use of data analytics to anticipate potential problems, allowing airports to schedule maintenance during off-peak hours, thereby lowering labour costs, minimising downtime and reducing the impact on airport operations. This approach avoids emergency repairs, which are often more expensive and can cause operational disruptions. Keeping systems operational ensures continuous runway and gate availability, reducing delays and avoiding costly rescheduling or repositioning of aircraft.


Asset management

By providing real-time data on airside operations, the connectivity enables airports to quickly identify bottlenecks, delays, and other issues that can cause hold-ups for passengers and aircraft. This allows airside operators and ground crews to quickly address these issues, minimising delays and improving passenger experience. By improving resource utilisation, airports can minimise turnaround times for aircraft, enabling airlines to maximise their flight schedules and reduce idle times between flights. Airports in the United States that have started to use this new infrastructure are finding average savings of 13 minutes a flight thanks to reductions in hold and turnaround times.

By optimising energy consumption, modern aircraft docking systems equipped with smart sensor technology can improve their energy use and increase the life of the systems. By analysing the provided data, idle or unnecessary resources are easily identified and can be efficiently redirected.

ADB SAFEGATE Airside 4.0 swimlanes

Airside 4.0’s four critical swimlanes help users save time and costs, increase peace of mind, and improve market position

Energy utilisation with Airside 4.0

With Airside 4.0, energy utilisation at airports is taking a new turn. New capabilities for energy consumption are enabled, which can be optimised based on real-time data on the airside. Instead of fixed energy usage, Airside 4.0 enables an on-demand model for energy consumption. By monitoring assets on the airside, the system can identify inefficient energy consumption, like airfield lighting intensities set higher than needed for current airport visibility conditions. These insights can be visualised, allowing personnel to make appropriate adjustments and conserve energy. 

Such demand-based usage of energy can lead to significant reductions in energy costs and promote renewable primary and backup energy options. In addition, this system is compliant with the extra-low voltage (ELV) directive, which adds an enhanced level of safety. The Airside 4.0 solution is already helping airports achieve over 40% savings in airside energy consumption. With Airside 4.0, airports can help develop a critical energy infrastructure that aligns with sustainability and environmental footprint management. 

ADB SAFEGATE turnaround solutions

ADB SAFEGATE solutions deliver improved resource utilisation, helping airports minimise aircraft turnaround times


Ground movement control

Ground movement control has always been a major issue for airports, but with Airside 4.0, the process is streamlined, particularly through enhanced arrival and departure management systems. Efficient scheduling and management of arrivals and departures utilising Airside 4.0 can reduce the time an aircraft spends taxiing on the ground. This can lead to a reduction in fuel consumption that lowers costs associated with ground handling services, hence benefiting airports and airlines.

Airside 4.0 also optimises ground support operations, reducing airport emissions, minimising fuel consumption, and improving operational costs for both airports and airlines. By better planning and sequencing of aircraft movements, airports can make efficient use of gates, baggage handling systems, and other resources, thereby reducing the need for additional investments in infrastructure and improving the throughput capacity of existing facilities. With Airside 4.0, the adoption of technologies such as Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control Systems (A-SMGCS) and Machine Learning for predicting traffic flow enhances an airport’s arrival and departure management, making airport operations more efficient, profitable, and sustainable. The adoption of such technologies and practices represents a significant step towards sustainable airport operations, as efficient arrival and departure management reduces fuel burn, lowers CO2 emissions, and ensures that airports function sustainably.

Airports that use Airside 4.0 capabilities are also seeing runway incursions decrease by over 75%, leading to fewer incidents and improved safety. Overall, Airside 4.0 plays a significant role in streamlining ground movement control, making airports more efficient, safer, and more sustainable in their operations.


Airside 4.0 connects airside operations to the cloud

Future-proofing airports 

Airside 4.0 is an innovative solution designed to future-proof airports and allow them to differentiate themselves in the highly competitive aviation industry. The platform can improve passenger experience, reduce delays, enhance safety, save money, save time and deliver a better reputation that will help increase passengers, revenue, and market share. This can all lead to airports being able to accommodate potential new routes, additional flights, and more commercial agreements. In addition, it is hoped that the overall better passenger experience will in turn lead to an increase in spending with airport retail outlets and services. All while promoting sustainable practices, reducing the environmental footprint associated with airport operations and enhancing operational efficiency while reducing costs.

As aviation evolves and grows, Airside 4.0 will play a significant role in shaping the future of the industry. With efficient use of airport infrastructure, a reduced need for expansion, and aligning with sustainable management practices, Airside 4.0 ensures that resources are used effectively and sparingly, thereby future-proofing the operation of airports.