Saab has been awarded a contract from the Kansas City Aviation Department for a Virtual Ramp Control System (VRCS) at Kansas City International Airport (MCI) for its New Terminal now under construction. The Saab system will include two digital tower camera houses, supplemental cameras, and Aerobahn Surface Management capabilities. The contract includes a three-phase implementation project and five years of ramp control services.   

Saab will provide a VRCS at MCI, designed to coordinate safe and efficient movement of aircraft between the airport’s movement area, controlled by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) – Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT), and non-movement area, controlled by the airport. Using two centralized camera houses and additional distributed cameras, ramp controllers at MCI will have full digital visibility to coordinate safe and efficient traffic flow between all gates and aircraft parking aprons. Camera views will be integrated into Saab’s Aerobahn Collaborative Decision Making (CDM) platform and facilitate orderly coordination between the FAA Ground Control crews, airline operations, MCI airport operations, deicing operations, and MCI snow removal crews.

“Saab has pioneered the use of Digital Ramp Control with the combination of a virtual out-the-window view paired with our industry leading Aerobahn suite. With a similar implementation at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), Saab’s Digital Ramp Control solution delivers increased traffic efficiencies, streamlined communications between key stakeholders, and a significant cost savings to both airlines and airports,” said Erik Smith, President and CEO of Saab in the U.S.

“The safety of the traveling public and aircraft at Kansas City International Airport are high-priority for us. We are excited to team up with Saab and the FAA to enhance the safety of airfield operations at MCI airport.” said Aviation Department Deputy Director of Aviation – Operations and Maintenance Ian Redhead. 

Following implementation of the VRCS system at MCI, Saab will provide ramp control services through its partner, Robinson Aviation (RVA), Inc. The turnkey system is scheduled to be complete in 2023, which is when the 5-year ramp control service period begins.

This project supports MCI’s ongoing construction project to replace three aging terminals with one new single terminal and parking garage, also targeted for completion in the beginning of 2023. The new single terminal will include 39 gates, improve the airport configuration to accommodate more efficient aircraft movements, expand waiting areas and amenities, and improve the passenger flow throughout the airport and parking areas.