Airport, Estonia, Innovations, Transport

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Sunday, 19.05.2019, 15:48

Estonian companies develop remote tower for air traffic control services

BC, Tallinn, 13.03.2019.Print version
The state-owned company Estonian Air Navigation Services and the software company Cybernetica have put a remote air control tower solution developed in Estonia that enables to service several aerodromes simultaneously on display at an air traffic control fair held in Spain this week, informed LETA/BNS.

The solution is displayed at the World ATM Congress 2019 that runs in Madrid from March 12 to 14. 


A remote tower enables to display the visual information needed by an air traffic controller via video systems, meaning that the air traffic controller does not have to be physically present in the aerodromes's immediate area, Estonian Air Navigation Service. 


"The visual image necessary for air traffic control is received via cameras situated on the aerodrome and displayed to the air traffic controllers on a panorama screen," Ullar Salumae, board member of Estonian Air Navigation Services, said.


He said that a solution like this enables to control air traffic simultaneously at multiple aerodromes and provide a quality and safe service with a higher level of cost-efficiency.


The Estonian companies started work on a remote tower solution in September 2016 with the aim of developing a solution which builds on the needs of the Estonian market. 


"Since in Estonia there is only one major airport and four regional airports, it is advisable not to use different systems for flight control but to switch the regional airports to a united control system, which requires a remote tower solution," Salumae said.


He added that even though there were such solutions on the market already, it was economically more beneficial to create the necessary system oneself.

Martin Link, sales manager for surveillance and monitoring systems at Cybernetica, described an open architecture which enables to tailor the solution to the needs of specific businesses and states as the biggest advantage of their remote tower development. In addition, it is possible to integrate the system with various other software systems or use it as a basis for developing a specific system of one's own.


At present developing the prototype into a product and certification of the system are underway. 


Estonian Air Navigation Services and Cybernetica wish to develop the remote tower system into a multi-tower solution enabling to control traffic at multiple aerodromes from a single location.


"The state has set the goal of bringing the provision of air traffic control services at all of Estonia's airports into the area of responsibility of Estonian Air Navigation Services, which means that we must be able to ensure flight safety in Tallinn, Parnu, Tartu, Kuressaare and Kardla alike. A remote tower and a multi-tower solution are essential for doing this effectively," Salumae said.


The leading users of remote towers in Europe are Norway and Sweden, which use such towers to control traffic at low density aerodromes.


World ATM Congress, the biggest air traffic control fair globally, brings together businesses and experts from 136 countries. 

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