On 25 February 2020 distinguished guests from several German Airports, ATCOs, AFISOs, the regional airport association IDRF, the Deutsche Wetterdienst DWD, CNS and weather industry and the German regulatory bodies met in Braunschweig to discuss the potentials of low cost remote tower solutions for the smallest uncontrolled airports with AFIS or even non-AFIS services (UNICOM).
Airports with very low revenues are often unable to afford state-of-the-art remote tower technology. On the other hand, the traffic is less complex and ATS level is lower (max. AFIS or UNICOM). Possibly less sophisticated technology (e.g. PTZ-only) is suitable to fulfill operational requirements for AFIS/UNICOM served airports and thus, generating synergies and cost savings even for the smallest airports.
DLR and students from RWTH Aachen and HS Osnabrück prototyped & validated such a concept and presented the outcomes to the workshop guests. Regulatory, technical and financial barriers were discussed to be overcome to enable small airports to operate more cost efficient. A low-cost remote tower solution seems to be an inevitable solution to achieve this goal was a common opinion and results of the workshop. Furthermore it turned out, that current regulations for service & weather provision are just on its way to get formulated and to get in force, which is hard to implement such a remote tower concept now but on the other hand, keeps the door open to actively shape future regulations to make remote tower a part of it.
Please find all the workshop material here: Presentations