Remote tower in now a reality in Sweden:
Sweden’s Örnsköldsvik Airport has begun operations using the Remote Tower Services (RTS) system developed by Swedish air navigation services provider LFV and Saab.
The system allows aircraft taking off from and landing at the airport to be controlled remotely from the LFV Remote Tower Center in Sundsvall more than 93 miles (150 km) away.
The operational launch of the system marks the culmination of 10 years of development work and the two companies claim this is the first time air traffic control at an airport has been provided remotely.
LFV DG Olle Sundin said: “We are the first operator in the world to receive operational approval and there is a lot of interest among our customers in Sweden and around the world. RTS is an important product for us and our partners.”
RTS involves the use of cameras and sensors at an airport sending signals in real time to an air traffic control center where images and other traffic information are displayed on TV monitors. This enables controllers to provide tower services at that airport from a remote location, irrespective of distance. The system has been designed to help reduce the cost of providing air traffic services at airports with low-traffic density, and to make it possible for them to offer air traffic services on demand, with more flexible and versatile opening hours to meet customer requirements.
Saab president and CEO Håkan Buskhe said: “We see a great interest from both small and large airports that have a need for Remote Tower Services in order to address the challenges that they face. This system contributes toward greater efficiency.”
LFV was granted operational approval for remotely operated towers by the Swedish Transport Agency at the end of October last year, paving the way for the system to go operational. Örnsköldsvik Airport is the first remotely operated airport in the world, and Sundsvall-Timrå and Linköping airports are expected to become the second and third.