ATC and AFIS services in a single-low density aerodrome from a remote tower
Small or local airports are life-lines to local and regional economies, generating mobility of goods, services and people. But keeping these airports open with air traffic services is a challenge given the costs involved in running them compared to the number of flights they handle. SESAR’s remote tower services (RTS) offer new possibilities for places where it is too expensive to build, maintain and staff conventional tower facilities and services, or at airports where such services are currently unavailable. In this solution remote tower services are provided remotely to a single low-density airport.
Exercises were conducted at Værøy heliport, an island in Norway, where aerodrome flight information services (AFIS) were provided by a tower located in Bodø on the mainland. The exercises focused on the provision of AFIS (including weather information) through an enhanced platform and improved functionalities using different technical enablers. The results were as follows:
• Operational feasibility of the solution due to the high quality visualisation tools;
• Maintained levels of safety in normal and degraded conditions;
• Acceptability of remote service provision by controllers.
The validation results for this solution are conclusive and sufficient to support a decision for industrialisation. In 2014, the world’s first RTS opened for business in Sundsvall, serving Örnsköldsvik airport over 150 km away"