SESAR RACOON project simulates remote tower services for multiple airports

Oct. 19, 2015

Partners in the SESAR large-scale demonstration project, Remote Airport Concept of OperatioN (RACOON), have in a real-time simulated environment successfully demonstrated the first step of using  remote tower services in a multiple airport environment. The real-time simulation (RTS) offered the project partners valuable operational feedback with which to prepare live flight trials in 2016.

Coordinated by ENAV, RACOON aims at demonstrating the feasibility of remote tower services for single or multiple airport operations in a real operational environment. The project relies on a stepwise demonstration approach, using the execution of real-time simulations and shadow mode sessions as preparatory steps to the live/flight trials.  The project involves Air France, NAV Canada, SEA, Searidge Technologies, IDS, Techno Sky, SICTA and Deep Blue, as well as the contribution of Alitalia and PRADA as supporting partners.

The real-time simulation took place at the ENAV Prototype Systems Center in Rome using a tower simulator (TBA3D).  In line with the project’s approach, the RTS involved scenarios in which a single controller simultaneously managed, in low traffic conditions, Milan Linate and Milan Malpensa airports. Several runs were executed simulating day, night and low visibility conditions, as well as the inclusion of some non-nominal events, such as contingency situations, missed approach and two emergencies.

During the simulation, the partners analysed the safety and human performance (HP) aspects, two of the project’s key performance areas. With this in mind, the simulation saw the participation of an integrated team of validation experts, controllers and system engineers, as well as safety and HP experts. This allowed for operational feedback on platform usability, concept feasibility, operational working methods and human machine interface (HMI) assessments and provided useful inputs for the next RACOON demonstration activities.

The project partners are currently analysing the qualitative and quantitative data, which will be provided in the RACOON final demonstration report. Project partners are now preparing to conduct flight trials to demonstrate the use of the remote tower services combined with Required Navigation Performance approaches (RNP-APCH), which are planned in Malpensa and Linate airports in the second quarter of 2016.