Category Archives: Projects

Aeriaa Airport Dashboard. Controlling airport facilities, Jetways

In the last post of the airport’s systems mock-ups, we created the first steps of a DCS system for our airport, after the AODB and BHS, now, we change the scope to the airport’s facilities, a little SCADA system for monitoring the airport’s jetways (also known as Boarding bridges, Jetties, Air Bridges) status on an iPad App, this system will be another event producer for the Dashboard, and itself is a nice tool for operations and maintenance departments. In the tech part of the article, we are going to show how reusability boosts a global architecture system’s plan. We are going to take advantage of previous Web Services we exposed, the integration with MongoDB collections, and the look&feel designed in web apps (AODB and BHS). But, we are going to introduce a new technology for the Web APP, AngularJS, a very interesting front end framework.

Jetways demo aeriaa

Jetway iPad app Monitoring Mock-up. Credit:



These are the features of our new airport’s system mock-up:

  • Show the status of the main jetways and stand modules. 
    • Docking Guidance System (DGS). This system helps the pilot for identifying its stand assigned and the correct aircraft’s alignment and final position on the stand. I also shows practical information data for the pilot as time milestones.

Visual Docking Guiding System in Action. Credit:

Visual Docking Guiding System in Action. Credit:

GDS showing TSAT time. Credit: Zurich Airport

DGS showing TSAT time. Credit: Zurich Airport

    • 400Hz: this system provides electrical energy to the aircraft when the engines and APU shut down, the frequency is due the size of the aircraft’s module, its size allow to be smaller and lighter.

Ground Power Unit providing energy

Ground Power Unit providing energy

    • Air Conditioning (AA): this system provides fresh conditioned air when the aircraft is stationed.

Air Conditioning provided to an aircraft. Credit:

Air Conditioning provided to an aircraft. Credit:

    • Signals simulator for triggering the events on-off of each subsystem.
  • Look up the flights assigned to each jetway.
  • In the next version these features are expected:
    • Provides information to the Airport’s Dashboard, about jetways availability and alerts for specific flights.
    • More integration with the AODB for the resource’s assignment and events that overcomes new estimated time to departure (ETA) due turnaround affections (TOBT) and in-off block expected times. (IBK/OBK). Enlazar con post de tiempos.
    • Integration with an airport’s maintenance system.

In this case, as DCS, we’ve chose again an iPad App for implementing the main functionalities mentioned above and a Web App for implementing the signals simulator for the DGS, 400Hz and AA modules, as well the main jetway’s general status/availability.

Jetways giving service to an A380. Credit:

Jetways giving service to an A380. Credit:



As my budget is “limited” for acquiring a full electric, modular and fieldbus components, connectors/actuators, etc. I developed a web app that throws the signals. The main use of this app is to change the values for each jetway, each of them, and its modules, is represented in a table’s row. let’s see the main interface.

Jetways Web App simulator.

Jetways Web App simulator. Credit:

When we change any value, the web app and the backend executes the next actions:

  • Call a Web Service and report the new value in real time.
  • The backend receives the data and insert directly in a real time database.
  • So the data is served in real time and the iPad App can have the data updated at any time.

Let’s see the meat of this (techie part of the article), as we said above, I developed the web app using AngularJS, a great frontend framework that gives me a perfect modularity for creating web components and the glue for combining them. So, when I changed a value this part of the web app (named controller) reacts to the change.

Changing values in the simulator. Credit:

Changing values in the simulator. Credit:

Toggle Button component. Credit:

Toggle Button component. Credit:

App directive for the Toggle Button. Credit:

App directive for the Toggle Button. Credit:

With this event we directly call the Web Service and pass the data.

Calling the Web Service for updating the jetway data. Credit:

Calling the Web Service for updating the jetway data. Credit:

In the backend, developed with NodeJS and reusing the previous code’s snippets of the AODB, BHS and DCS mockups, we are listening a new call with this data and insert it directly in a MongoDB collection.

Web Services defined in NodeJS Backend. Credit:

Web Services defined in NodeJS Backend. Credit:

Jetway data on MongoDB collection. Credit:

Jetway data on MongoDB collection. Credit:

And that’s all.


In this version, the app, retrieves information about the jetway’s status and the assigned flights to them. This how the app does it:

When the user clicks on any of the jetties, the app requests the info to a Web Service, in the same NodeJS’ backend where the simulator sends the data in real time. The data returned has the jetways status and the flights assigned to it.

When the user clicks on a jetway, the app request the data to the backend. Credit:

When the user clicks on a jetway, the app request the data to the backend. Credit:

Data returned after the user's action. Credit:

Data returned after the user’s action. Credit:


One video worths one thousand words. Enjoy the full demo in the following video, remember that aeriaA has a Youtube channel, please visit it and its playlists. Disclaimer: the app design is very alpha, do not complaint about it :)

For better visualization, please, maximize the video or visualize it at youtube. It also has nice music.

For more info:

Docking Guidance System explanation by Zurich Airport (PDF): Aircraft Docking Guidance System

Docking Guidance System at Wikipedia:

Please follow us at:

twitter. @aeriaablog

facebook: aeriaA at Facebook

LinkedIn: aeriaA at LinkedIn

Personal LinkedIn:

Youtube: aeriaA at Youtube.

Aeriaa Airport Dashboard. Creating the DCS (I)

In this article we are going to show you the first real combination of three airport systems, the AODB, the BHS and the Departure Control System (DCS). We built the first AODB and BHS functionalities in these articles AODB part I and BHS part I. First we’ll sum up the main functionalities of the AODB and BHS, then we’ll show the a few new functionalities on them for the DCS integration and finally we’ll show the DCS mockup developed for iOS platform in order to test new technologies and how they combine with the other we are using in these article’s series.

Boarding Card issued by our DCS mockup in iOS

Boarding Card issued by our DCS mockup in iOS

Aeriaa Airport Dashboard. Creating the BHS (I)

In the previous article we started to develop the basic airport’s systems four our Airport Dashboard’s Project, the AODB mock-up, in this article we are going to build another airport’s system mock-up that has a relationship with the AODB, the Baggage Handling System (BHS), not the physical system but the Sort Allocation Computer (SAC). Please see this article for a introduction of the AODB & BHS relationship. To sum up, the BHS has the following main features.

  • Transport, classify and deliver each baggage to its destination carrousel (departure and arrival flights).
  • Process the baggages in the integrated security subsystem. As X-Ray machines that look for hazardous substances, material, drugs, explosives, etc.
  • Store the baggages for early check-in flights.

What data do we want from BHS to our Dashboard?

  • General process status and metrics. Bags per hour, first bag delivery time, luggage events per flight, bad reading tag ratio, system status, percentage of manual sorting in comparison to automatic sorting, percentage of bags that are wrongly sorted by the system (sent to a wrong carrousel), average time and standard deviation regarding the time to be sorted by the BHS, etc. Thanks Pablo Roux for some KPI’s suggestions.

What data does the BHS (SAC) need from the AODB?

  • The flights scheduled for a time period (day, week, etc.). Where are they planned to be parked.
  • Any flight’s relevant updating in real time, any new estimated time of arrival or departure (ETA, ETD), cancellation, stand reassignment, etc.

Are there other systems closely related to BHS?

  • Yes, the Airlines Departure Control Systems from the BHS will be notified about the baggage checked, through SITA. (see the article mentioned before)


Baggage Handling System Blueprint

Baggage Handling System Blueprint

On Paper Technology and Boeing 777


“Where technology meets aviation.” This is the aeriaA’s motto, but not all the technologies are binary data, aerodynamics and fluid dynamics, electronic, etc. Across the mankind history every significant period had it revolutionary technologies, and once the paper was one of these advanced technologies. Before showing this outstanding project, on of the main reasons of writing this post is a comment I read about this project. “What a pity, so much ingenuity and time wasted for nothing” I tried to understand this comment and where was the wasting stuff. Where others see waste work I see talent, passion with a lot effort and meticulousness. Returning to the issue, this is about an impressive combination of the papyrus/parchment and a Wright Brother’s Flyer descendent technologies, a full Boeing 777 made of paper in 1:60 scale, but do not miss the view at the big plane, please see the details, details as mechanics on paper. After thinking how to focus this post, I thought, why not ask to the author? Here you have our conversation and the great pictures and videos he took.

Boeing 777 engine blades. Copyright Luca Iaconi-Stewart

Boeing 777 engine blades. Copyright Luca Iaconi-Stewart

Aeriaa Airport Dashboard. Creating the AODB (I)


Following the aeriaA Airport Dashboard Project series, in this post we will build a little Airport Operational DataBase (AODB) system for our Dashboard’s architecture. This post is mixed oriented, it is a  little introduction of an AODB and a little introduction of the technologies used for building it.

The AODB is one of the central part of the whole project. We simplified a lot the AODB’s features, it is not the intention to build a real one, these are the main features:

  • Manage the Departures Flights of our Aeriaa International Airport.  We can create, update and delete departures flights (We will develop the arrivals flight later).
  • The frontend is a website application. We’ll try in the the future a smartphone app (step by step).
  • The flight’s attributes at the first data model are (alphabetically ordered):
    • AOBT. Actual Off-Blocks Time. It is the time when the fight is ready, doors closed, jetway decoupled, and the towbear available for the push-back.
    • ASAT. Actual Start-Up Approval Time. It is the real time when the flight has the approval for start the engines.
    • Aircraft. The aircraft model.
    • Company. The airline company.
    • Counter. The designated counters for the flight.
    • Destination.
    • ETD. Estimated Time for Departure.
    • Flight. It is the fight’s code.
    • Gate. The gate assigned for the flight.
    • ICAO. Company’s ICAO code.
    • STD. Scheduled Time for Departure.
    • TOBT. Target Off-Block Time. It is the target time for the Off-Blocks Time (see AOBT)
    • TSAT. Target Start Up ApprovalTime. See ASAT.
  • We included some time’s milestones (TOBT, TSAT, AOBT, ASAT) related to A-CDM philosophy in order to approach the AODB to this new work collaboration paradigm. There just a few of the huge times complexity of A-CDM. You can find a big list of time milestones here
  • Billing the services provided by the airport or ground handler that the airline must pay. The services could be the push-back service, the jetways, follow me car, baggage handling, counters, etc.


Building our AODB System mock-up. Image Credit: Pedro Garcia

aeriaA’s Airport Dashboard Project

Project Name: The aeriaA Airport Operation Dashboard.

Project status: Ongoing


License: Creative Commons

Author/s: Pedro García

Contact: LinkedIn Profile


The purpose of this demo is technology self learning and for sharing with you some airports concepts.
Imagine that there is a big-size airport called Aeriaa International Airport, with a fake IATA code, AEI (some day I’ll post why the airports code are composed) with about 20 million passengers per year and with one huge terminal building.
In this Terminal, called “Papepe Terminal” we have this services, systems and facilities:
- One automatic baggage handling system.
- 150 checkin counters and 25 self service checkin kiosks (IRONIC MODE=ON “I love them” IRONIC MODE=OFF).
- 50 boarding gates, distributed in A, B, and C areas.
- 20 Passenger Boarding Bridges/Airbridges/Jetties for boarding.
- 2 security passenger filters.
- A parking lot with 10.000 parking spaces.
- Terminal building SCADA systems, HVAC, lighting, water, electric power…
- Airport Operational Systems to manage the flights. I will more precise on these systems later. (in this or in next posts).
- Cameras, cameras, and more cameras, security systems at every corner and access control to all the security areas. (As operational systems, you will see later more about this).
So we have a terminal, facilities, systems….lets have a look on the airport’s users:
- Passengers, people that take or leave a flight at departures or arrivals. Do not forget the people that see off his friends and families and those ones that welcomes them back. There are two “emotional” places at every airport. The happy one, at arrivals and the sadest one, at departures, if one day you need optimism, please enjoy a few hours at an airport’s arrivals lounge.
- Airlines, can you put in a list all the airlines you know?
- Handling agents, specialized companies that manage the specific processes of carrying baggages to/from planes, or carrying passengers to remote positions in buses, moves the planes to the taxi areas, check and board the passengers…
- Shops! Yes, the airports are malls where the people take planes.
- Workers, thousand of workers that maintain the airport alive and functional.



Demo Airport Dashboard. Credit: Pedro Garcia



Airport’s world of events


Basic Architecture