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THE BACK PAGE by Editor Jonathan Newell


TOWER LANDINGS GO REMOTE


Air traffic control steps outside the airport boundaries for the first time at Swedish airport


I


n April this year, remote air traffic control was used for the first time at Linköping/Saab Airport, making it the third Swedish airport to adopt the technology. “The approach and landing were remotely controlled by the air


traffic controllers at the tower in Sundsvall and at 10:00 the plane’s wheels hit the tarmac.” says Per Kjellander, head of operations at air traffic control system provider, LFV. This first landing will now be followed by a


commissioning phase before air traffic control is fully transferred to the remote tower in Sundsvall, which is nearly 600km further north of Linköping. Remote air traffic control is an innovation that will bring developments to the entire industry and is the result of a collaboration between LFV and Saab. LFV conceives and develops the operative concepts while Saab provides the technical expertise. “Today’s landing is an important milestone on the


road to the local air traffic control services of the future. I am pleased that we can now begin using remote air traffic control at our own airport,” says Per Lindblad, CEO of Saab Airport AB.


48 /// Testing & Test Houses /// June 2019


Linköping/Saab Airport will be the first airport


with remote tower services for both civil and military aviation. This makes the airspace more complex and puts even greater demands on the capacity of the system.


REMOTE CONTROL TECHNOLOGY A mast with cameras and sensors is set up at the airport where traffic is going to be remotely controlled. All the registered images and other data are transferred in real time via a live feed to the remote tower centre (RTC), where they are displayed on a series of monitors. Air traffic controllers manage the traffic as they would in a traditional tower. In 2015, Örnsköldsvik Airport became the first


airport in the world to use remote air traffic control, from RTC Sundsvall. At the end of 2017, Sundsvall- Timrå Airport also adopted the system. In 2018, the first remotely controlled airports were established outside Sweden, when Cranfield Airport in the UK and Germany’s Saarbrücken Airport started to use the new technology. T&TH


❱❱ The first scheduled flight from Amsterdam landed at Linköping/Saab Airport just 90 minutes after the first test flight to use remote ATC


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