Some small and remote European cities are highly dependent of local and regional airports for connection purposes, maintaining local business and cargo.. Remote Tower Services (RTS) provide an opportunity for continued operation of airports and rural development. Multiple remote tower operations from a single centre could reduce the amount of Air Traffic Controllers and Flight information Officers (ATCOs/AFISOs) needed to run a single airport. The costs for performing Air Traffic Service (ATS) are high and could be reduced, particularly at low to medium density airports, by provision of Air Traffic Services (ATS) from a remote tower specifically through a highly efficient multi remote tower solution. Various kinds of environments and airports should be controlled at one time, with a mix of complexity, controller workload and type of traffic (VFR- IFR-mix, rotor-fixed wing, special, Remotely Piloted Aircraft).
Technical aspects, such as network quality of service and other resilience/redundancy related issues that are of key importance to the regulatory authorities need to be addressed. Further development of the Controller Working Position (CWP) is required for a module more suitable for a centre with several CWPs. Maintenance cost and support costs can be lowered with standardized equipment compared to the large variety of environments in today’s towers. The remote tower solution could become SWIM-enabled, by using standardised service interfaces for communication between the remote airport, CWPs (in Remote Tower Centre) and other ATM stakeholders such as En-route/Approach ATC, Airport operations and Airspace users.
The focus on maintaining situation awareness becomes an increasingly important factor with multiple remote tower operations. Additional automation functionalities e.g. voice recognition, conflict detection and conflict resolution advisories should be developed in order to gradually increase the operating range of the concept. In some environments the need for enhanced visual surveillance tools might occur, which requires a seamless integration of air/ground multi-sensor tracking and other systems for situational awareness.
There will be a need for effective planning tools in both short term and long term all managed by a supervisor role. The RTMs need also to support these advanced RTCs. This could also include a RTC to RTC coupling transferring responsibility of an airport. The need for the role of an RTC Supervisor and supporting systems need to be defined.Scope:
The Project “Remote Tower for Multiple Airports” aims at delivering the following SESAR Solutions:
Remotely Provided Air Traffic Service for Multiple Aerodromes: Aerodrome Control Service or Aerodrome Flight Information Service for more than one aerodrome is provided by a single ATCO/AFISO from a remote location, i.e. not from a control tower local to any of the aerodromes. The ATCO (or AFISO) in this facility performs the remote ATS for the concerned aerodromes. It includes further development of the CWP and MET information from multiple airports.
Remotely Provided Air Traffic Services from a Remote Tower Centre with a flexible allocation of aerodromes to Remote Tower Modules: development of RTC supervisor and support systemsand advanced automation functions for a more cost efficient solution, integration of approach for airports connected to the remote centre and connections between RTCs with systems for flow management between remotely connected airports and development of tools and features for a flexible planning of all aerodromes connected to remote tower services.
This project will develop solutions that are expected to have a positive impact on the Network, increasing Cost-Effectiveness, and ensuring that Safety and capacity levels are maintained:
Safety (and security) levels are sufficient for the tasks being performed from the remote location. Any issues regarding degradation of Human Performance are either mitigated by adjusted procedures or new system functionalities.
Better cost effectiveness can be reached through large scale operation with co-location of staff, management, training, etc.
The level of requested airspace and runway capacity for the target candidate environments can be provided by the Remote Provision of ATS under normal conditions.