Sunday - Sep 24, 2017

Saab to open the World’s first remote air traffic control tower

Saab to open the World's first remote air traffic control tower

Swedish industrial giant Saab is in the process of opening what will be the world’s first integrated air traffic control center, capable of handling control of more than one airport at a time and at distances of up to 100 km from the control center.

The first experimental center of this type is now in operation at an airport in the small town of Örnsköldsvik in Sweden, where air traffic controllers control a suite of high-tech video and sensor equipment which has been specially developed by Saab.

Saab predicts that their new system will allow smaller airports to upgrade their towers and by efficiently grouping multiple airfields together in one remote control center, airfields can avoid limiting flights or closing completely.

The new remote control system was designed to provide a feasible alternatives operators of smaller airfields whose operating budgets are restricted. By consolidating operation of three airports under one traffic control system, considerable cost savings will be achieved without harming the safety of passengers.

The Saab Remote Tower System (RTS) was specifically designed to meet the current needs of airport control, with an eye to the future, and comes complete with an entire program for staff training, including how to cope with crisis situations, as well as maintaining tower maintenance or refurbishing.

Comprising just two components, operators of the Saab Remote Tower System will be required to install an elevated bank of high resolution cameras, which will be capable of being repositioned as well as microphones, signal light guns and sensitive meteorological sensors.

With the equipment in place, the information generated is transmitted to a the Remote Tower Center (RTC), where they are analysed and monitored by air traffic controllers Lane will direct air traffic as they might traditionally, display being a great distance from the airfield.

Saab has stated their commitment to work in hand with all those considering the system, helping them to design the RTC. There is strong resemblance to a high-tech media room, with a 360 degree LCD screens showing images transmitted directly from the airfield.

A trial run which will see the Saab RTC system leading to direct air traffic for two remote airports in Sweden, is scheduled to get underway in the autumn this year, while remote airfields in both Australia and Norway are in the late stages of giving the green light to testing the Saab system, with Norway expected to follow soon after Sweden.

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