Indra To Provide Vancouver International Airport With World’s Most Advanced Digital Apron Control System


Indra said Tuesday it will provide Vancouver International Airport (YVR) with the industry’s most advanced digital apron control system as the airport operator, Vancouver Airport Authority, begins its own digitized Apron Management Services Program. Indra will deliver a unique multi-mast A-SMGCS integrated Digital Tower solution for apron control composed of the InNOVA advanced surface movement guidance and control module (A-SMGCS) and the IRTOS digital tower module with 12 camera locations and a 4K video wall.  

Vancouver Airport Authority manages aircraft movements on the aprons while the Canadian air navigation service provider, NAV CANADA, manages take offs and landings. Indra’s A-SMGCS is currently one of the technologies used at YVR by NAV CANADA. Once YVR operationalizes its Apron Management Program in 2025, traffic control will be transferred between NAV CANADA’s tower controllers and the airport’s apron controllers for aircraft that enter or leave apron areas. By using the same technology, tower and apron controllers will have access to the same information thereby streamlining communications and improving situational awareness and decision-making of two highly interdependent functions.

The airport’s Apron Management Program will result in improved coordination of aircraft ground taxi operations with NAV CANADA, increases efficiency of aircraft movements thereby improving the experience for operators and reducing carbon emissions. This transition comes at an appropriate time as air traffic rebuilds to pre-pandemic levels, providing YVR and NAV CANADA the opportunity to optimize the utilization of existing airport assets through the new Apron Management Program. 

“We are proud to be among the first airports in the world to digitalize apron control at YVR,” said Andy Margolis, Vice President, Operations and Chief Operations Officer, Vancouver Airport Authority. “Our apron controllers need, and will have, a system that is user-friendly, ensures full situational awareness, and enhances communication and information sharing. Our Apron Management Services Program will allow us to continue, and to enhance, the efficient movement of aircraft on and around the aprons at YVR through active management practices. The digitization of our apron management will also improve the passenger experience with enhancements in operating procedures and efficiencies. Indra understood our needs and their digital tower platform fits those needs perfectly. We’re confident in Indra’s ability to deliver a complete and fully integrated technology solution for air traffic management on YVR’s aprons.”

YVR is Canada’s second busiest airport, serving more than 19 million passengers in 2022. YVR is operated by Vancouver Airport Authority in service of the community and economy that supports it. It is an established trans-Pacific hub that leverages its geographic location to serve as a gateway between the Americas and Asia.  Apron Management systems are currently in use at other major airports in Canada, such as Toronto-Pearson, and Montréal-Trudeau International Airport. 

Indra’s digital apron control system is based on the multi-mast A-SMGCS Integrated Digital tower system that is being implemented for HungaroControl, converting Budapest into Europe’s largest remotely controlled airport. Indra has contributed to safe air traffic in Canada for more than 20 years. The company has delivered more than 120 landing systems and nine ground surveillance systems to NAV CANADA. This is the first contract with Vancouver Airport Authority. 

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