PJ05 tests Multiple Remote Tower concept

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Remote air traffic control of a small airport can have several benefits. For example, maintenance and operating costs can be reduced and poor visibility conditions can be compensated for by modern camera technology. But to take full advantage of the Remote Tower concept, remote tower centres must be connected to more than one airport. This allows a much more efficient allocation of airports to air traffic controllers. The controllers work flexibly at airports where there is air traffic. In more complex traffic situations, one, two or more controllers can control a single airport, while in less intense traffic situations a single controller can be responsible for one, two or more airports. “Small and regional airports are faced with the challenge of reconciling the high costs of operating an efficient air traffic control tower with the low revenues from landing fees and other flight-related charges when traffic throughput is scarce or only temporary,” explains Jakobi. “The collective control of several airports offers the opportunity for the smaller ones to survive at low cost.”

Whether and under what conditions air traffic controllers can serve more than one airport at the same time raises numerous technical and human factors related questions for researchers and industry. Since 2016, 37 international partners led by the DLR Institute of Flight Guidance in Braunschweig have been researching solutions within the framework of the EU research and innovation programme Horizon 2020. Together with DLR’s partners Frequentis AG, Leonardo Germany GmbH, the Hungarian Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) HungaroControl and the Lithuanian ANSP Oro Navigacija, four simulation experiments were conducted at the DLR Remote Tower Laboratory in Braunschweig from November 2017 to December 2018. In the tests, one controller handled the traffic for up to three airports simultaneously. Read more…
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