Remote ATC towers: experts estimate savings of 50–90%
Remote ATC towers: from medium to large airports.
AUGUST, 30 / 2019 /3 MINUTES
For the first time, the technology of remote ATC towers was presented to a Middle Eastern audience on May 7–9, 2018 at an exhibition at the Dubai Airport Show. Designed for airports of low or medium capacity, this approach broadcast a picture from the air traffic control tower that makes controlling air traffic at one or more airports from a remote center enable.
Hungarian HungaroControl also demonstrated a solution for a remote ATC tower that operates in Budapest. HungaroControl is working with British NATS on a project in Singapore (Changi Airport).
Attila Simon, director of business development, explained that major airports are the main candidates for this technology:
«Dubai plans to expand its airport, and it will have five runways. For this type of airport, you will need remote solutions.»
Airports in the Middle East have shown interest in such solutions, among them: United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, Maldives and Seychelles, India.
«The use of infrared surveillance technology allows you to see even in poor visibility conditions, for example, in a sandstorm. You can switch to infrared mode and see the entire airport. If you have very small airports with 10–20 take-off and landing operations per day, then you can connect up to three of these airports to one control center. This is much cheaper than hiring a controller staff.»
Experts expect 50–90% cost savings on remote towers compared with investments in the complex infrastructure of traditional towers. The amount varies depending on the size of the airport, the number of runways and other factors.