Communication and information company Frequentis has said it expects remote towers to change the way all airports monitor and manage air traffic control.
Remotely-operated digital towers, which are being put in place in airports around the globe, can be used as a contingency measure or as a support system for vision enhancement, and can reduce the financial burden on many airports.
“Using a remote tower solution, regional airports can substantially reduce this [financial burden], and potentially share the remote tower facility with other airports,” says Peter Gridling, Head of Sales, Frequentis & Frequentis DFS Aerosense. “In the next decade, we will see remote digital towers for all airports, just with different use cases.”
Jersey Airport became the first in the British Isles to win approval for operational use of a remote digital tower in May.
Considering the criticality of Jersey Airport for the regional transport infrastructure, the Frequentis solution was designed as a contingency solution, providing seamless Air Traffic Control (ATC) services should the ATC tower be unavailable for any reason,” said Gridling.
“The significance of the regulatory approval for this airport is that it is the first to receive approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Usually approvals are given by national agencies.”
Frequentis has also teamed up with Icelandic company ANSP, Isavia, to look into remote tower technology in sub-zero temperatures at isolated airfields.
“The partnership is ongoing and has provided a learning curve for both of us to better understand the challenges related to harsh weather, infrastructure and isolated airports,” said Gridling.
“For airports with low traffic volume, or located in secluded areas where staffing proves challenging, remote towers could provide a lifeline.”