Stakeholders forge ahead with remote tower implementations

Oct. 30, 2017

In recent months, several implementations of the SESAR remote tower solution have been announced. These include the installation of a tower at London City by 2019, the deployment across Norway and now at Cranfield University in the UK. In this context, ACI EUROPE and SESAR organised a dedicated workshop on remote towers on 27-28 September in Budapest, kindly hosted by Budapest Airport.

The rise in air travel demand and the need to increase future capacity and safety levels require airports to deploy technological solutions that improve Air Traffic Management performance. With this in mind, SESAR has delivered and validated several Remote Tower solutions, offering air traffic services to one or multiple airports or as contingency. Remote tower technology is of particular benefit to regional small-to-medium sized airports, which are under growing financial pressure to find ways to maximise their operations and services while reducing fixed costs. In this context, ACI EUROPE and SESAR organised a dedicated workshop on remote towers on 27-28 September in Budapest, kindly hosted by Budapest Airport. HungaroControl was also a key contributor to the success of this workshop for generously showing its remote control centre to all participants so that they could see first-hand how it works in real-time.

The workshop, which was attended by over 70 ATM experts and other aviation representations, enabled knowledge exchange and a fruitful discussion on the validation and implementation of SESAR remote tower solutions at several European airports. Keynotes were made by Jost Lammers, CEO Budapest Airport, Morgan Foulkes, Deputy Director General ACI EUROPE, and Michael Standar, Chief Strategy & External Affairs SESAR JU. Budapest Airport, HungaroControl, London City and NATS, the Irish Aviation Authority, DFS, LFV and DLR presented the SESAR remote tower solutions and how they have been implemented in Budapest, Sweden, Germany, London and Ireland. They also pointed out the benefits of those solutions and some of the challenges they have faced. DLR on behalf of EUROCAE and the EASA also presented the ongoing standardisation and regulatory activities in the field of remote towers.

The main takeaways can be summarised as follows:

  • Single remote towers are now a reality and are already in operation in Europe.
  • Research continues into other applications, such as multiple remote tower operations.
  • Each airport is unique. The concept and technology must be adapted to local needs and constraints.
  • The remote technologies open up many new possibilities but require addressing the human factor and change management.
  • To successfully develop and deploy remote towers require the involvement with the authorities and airport from the very beginning. 
  • Standardisation and regulation are progressing in this area.


To get a taste of what was discussed during the workshop, check out this Storify link of ACI EUROPE’s tweets.

To view all presentations & photos, please click here.

Willing to read more about remote towers? Check out this article by Florian Guillermet, Executive Director of the SESAR JU.