Industry Canada

Industry Canada

November 21, 2005 09:00 ET

Government of Canada Invests in Technologies for Airport Passenger Bridges

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 21, 2005) - The Honourable Albina Guarnieri, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Member of Parliament for Mississauga East-Cooksville, on behalf of the Honourable David L. Emerson, Minister of Industry, today announced a $1.8-million investment in R&D for new technologies for airport passenger bridges that will result in safer operation and facilitate faster boarding and deplaning.

This Technology Partnerships Canada (TPC) investment is part of a $6.1-million project being undertaken by Indal Technologies Inc. of Mississauga, Ontario.

"Indal has the winning combination - ground-breaking technologies and entrepreneurial vision," said Minister Emerson. "These types of innovative R&D projects are the engines of our modern economy that allow us to sustain our high quality of life."

"It is essential that government and industry come together to make sure that Canadians benefit from a thriving aerospace and defence sector," said Minister Guarnieri. "This project is a perfect example of such a constructive partnership."

The investment will enable the company to develop new systems to better help the pilot taxi the plane to the gate and to allow the operators of passenger-boarding bridges and specialty vehicles, such as cargo loaders or catering trucks, to efficiently and safely dock their vehicles with the aircraft. The system will reduce cost, improve safety and reduce damage from accidents that sometimes occur in the loading and unloading of passengers, cargo and provisions.

The project will develop Indal's specific capabilities in aircraft recognition technologies, electro-optic targets and marking systems, guidance display systems, and a new "bridge-talk" system for coordinating the movement of multiple bridges simultaneously for aircraft that have multiple exits.

"This project positions Indal to meet the emerging requirements for automatically operating passenger bridges and other manned and unmanned operations around docked aircraft," said Vince Lacey, President and CEO of Indal Technologies Inc. "TPC's investment will help us maintain our leadership in the design and manufacture of this automation technology."

Technology Partnerships Canada (TPC) is a key instrument for advancing research and development toward commercialization. Working in partnership with innovative companies across Canada, TPC shares in the cost of private sector technology projects in aerospace and defence, in environmental technologies, and in enabling technologies such as information and communications technologies, and biotechnology.

The news release, backgrounder and other documents are available on the Technology Partnerships Canada Web site at:


Government of Canada Supports Indal Technologies Inc.

Indal Technologies Inc. has received an investment of $1.8 million from Technology Partnerships Canada. This investment is part of a $6.1-million R&D project to develop automation for airport passenger bridges and service vehicles at airports.

Indal has identified an opportunity to transfer its aircraft-handling technology to automatic operation of airport passenger bridges. This technology is rapidly gaining acceptance. Airport authorities have identified the following potential benefits:

- improved efficiency for personnel working on the tarmac

- reduced arrival delays because of improved aircraft self-docking with the help of visual systems

- less damage to passenger bridges and service vehicles that come into contact with the aircraft

One example of the benefits is operations during thunderstorms. International airport regulations require that all ground personnel leave outside areas and enter airport buildings whenever lightning strikes are reported in the airport's vicinity. This prevents all incoming aircraft from docking and unloading passengers. Successfully implementing the technologies being developed in this project may allow aircraft to dock and unload passengers during a lightning storm. This is particularly useful for commuter-type flights where passengers have carry-on luggage and do not need to wait for baggage services.

The project will develop Indal's specific capabilities in aircraft recognition technologies, electro-optic targets and marking systems, guidance display systems, and simultaneous docking of two or three bridges for aircraft that have multiple exits. Technological benefits of the project will extend to Indal's Canadian suppliers, airport authorities and airline partners.

Established in 1951, Indal Technologies is a leader in designing and manufacturing ship-borne aircraft-handling systems, underwater-sensor-handling systems and specialized structures for military customers. The company employs 200 at its Mississauga site.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable David L. Emerson
    Minister of Industry
    Christiane Fox
    (613) 995-9001
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations
    (613) 943-2502
    Office of the Honourable Albina Guarnieri
    Minister of Veterans Affairs
    Cory Hobbs
    (613) 996-4649