Recent SESAR open days in Sweden and Hungary presented the results on ongoing validations of the multiple remote tower concept. The open days, which were organised within the context of the SESAR PJ.05 project, allowed participants to see first-hand the passive management of two and three airports simultaneously in real time.Recent SESAR open days in Sweden and Hungary presented the results on ongoing validations of the multiple remote tower concept. The open days, which were organised within the context of the SESAR PJ.05 project, allowed participants to see first-hand the passive management of two and three airports simultaneously in real time.
Remote towers are already a reality for leading Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP) across the world. This operating concept is at the forefront of ATM service provision, however the potential of this technology continues to be explored by SESAR partners with regards multi-remote towers, a concept where an air traffic controller could provide services to multiple aerodromes.
For this Hungarian validation exercise, camera systems were installed at the three airports involved in the project that provided live video streams which were displayed on a monitor wall. In addition to the video stream, controllers were supported by live radar information, and could listen to live radio communication and get relevant flight information. The Hungarian validation simulated traffic for three Hungarian airports (i.e. Budapest Airport, Pápa Military Airbase, and Debrecen Airport) and looked at how a single air traffic controller could control these airports simultaneously in a multi-remote tower module (MRTM).
The validations were carried out by DLR, responsible for project coordination within SESAR, Frequentis as the technology partner, and HungaroControl as the experienced ANSP to implement this experimental concept into daily operations.
“The solution offers new possibilities for small or local airports where the building, maintaining, and staffing of a conventional tower is unaffordable. More efficient and cost-effective deployment of operational resources, improving services continuity and maintaining safety at the same time. Although this is still a Research & Development phase project, we are confident that will see fully operating multi-remote towers at the most innovative ANSPs in the upcoming years,“ stated Péter Kántor, Project Manager at HungaroControl.
Meanwhile in Sweden, an open day hosted by SESAR member Saab (NATMIG) presented the results of two different SESAR trials on multiple remote towers coordinated by COOPANS (LFV and AustroControl). In the first exercise, one air traffic controller handled two airports simultaneously. The second exercise showed how three airports were simultaneously handled by one air traffic controller.
This project has received funding from the SESAR Joint Undertaking under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 730195