Validations get underway on multiple remote tower operations

Nov. 28, 2017

From 13 to 21 November, SESAR2020 partners kick-started a campaign to validate remote tower operations for multiple airports in Braunschweig, Germany in such a realistic environment. For the first time a single remote tower controller controlled three airports simultaneously. In a human-in-the-loop real-time simulation at the DLR Air Traffic Validation Centre seven Hungarian civil and military controllers managed up to 30 movements per hour at three Hungarian airports, namely Budapest, Papa and Debrecen.

The controllers were provided with a newly developed flight strip planning system, a three-fold radar and outside view and advanced weather information. DLR researchers assessed the controllers’ eye point of regard, their perceived situation awareness, workload and acceptance as well as efficiency and safety in handling the various traffic situations to judge about the overall operational feasibility of the concept and the design of the controller working position.

The first results are encouraging andwill provide the research partners with recommendations for concept and design improvements. A final analysis of the results will follow at a later stage and consolidation with future validation activities in other environments. In 2018 it is planned to validate the concept to provide air navigation service to three airports simultaneously in a real-life passive shadow mode trial at a HungaroControl facility at Budapest Airport.

On 22 of November the validation campaign was succeeded by a Public Open Day event. More than 30 international remote tower experts with operational and technical background used the opportunity to visit the DLR to learn more about the multiple tower concept and design, the set-up, the validation objectives and first results. The validations took place within the framework of SESAR project PJ05 and are a collaboration between DLR (as part of the AT-One consortium), Frequentis AG (Frequentis SESAR Partners), HungaroControl (Frequentis SESAR Partners) and Leonardo.