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Saab Signs Contract for a Digital Solution at Cranfield Airport

Defence and security company Saab has been selected by Cranfield University, one of the top four commercial research universities in United Kingdom, to deliver a digital air traffic control system to Cranfield Airport.


Saab Digital Air Traffic Solutions will deliver a digital air traffic control system based on a solution developed since 2006, and approved by authorities for operational use since 2015. Digital Air Traffic Control (ATC) services are a breakthrough within Air Traffic Management (ATM). The digitalisation of the data they collect and distribute increases the operational efficiency and safety across an airport. The new digital tower service will enable Cranfield Airport to leapfrog into the future of digital services, putting the United Kingdom at the forefront of the global aviation industry.

“Saab Digital Air Traffic Solutions is further strengthening its market leader position, as the first supplier providing a digital solution for air traffic control. Our proven technology and operational experience is an important differentiator in the market. We are also looking forward to the collaboration with Cranfield University and the strong links the university has with the industry in the area of innovative research and development”, says Johan Klintberg, CEO of Saab Digital Air Traffic Solutions.

Cranfield Airport is based 70 km northwest of London and owned by Cranfield University.

“The digital control tower will be a significant boost for Cranfield Airport and the research capabilities of the University. Combined with our existing and new facilities, the digital control tower will cement Cranfield’s place as the home of the leading aerospace research facilities in Europe,” says Professor Sir Peter Gregson Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Cranfield University.

Saab and the Swedish Air Navigation Service Provider, LFV, were the first to put digital air traffic control into operation. In June 2016, Saab and LFV established the joint venture Saab Digital Air Traffic Solutions. In 2015, the airports in Örnsköldsvik and Sundsvall became the first in the world to be controlled via a Digital Tower Centre in Sundsvall. Linköping Airport will follow suit and become the third remotely-controlled airport in 2017. Successful test installations have also been implemented in Australia, the USA, the Netherlands, Norway and Ireland in diverse environments and at various distances.

Saab’s ATM expertise spans over surveillance sensors, ATC automation, collaborative decision making, and digital towers. Saab’s solutions are trusted by air navigation service providers, airports and airlines across six continents and in more than 100 locations across 45 countries.

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Saab serves the global market with world-leading products, services and solutions within military defence and civil security. Saab has operations and employees on all continents around the world. Through innovative, collaborative and pragmatic thinking, Saab develops, adopts and improves new technology to meet customers’ changing needs. 

Cranfield is an exclusively postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management. We are focused on the specialist themes of aerospace, defence and security, energy and power, environment and agrifood, manufacturing, transport systems, and water. The Cranfield School of Management is world leader in management education and research. We are home to many world-class, large-scale facilities which enhance our teaching and research. We are the only university in Europe to own and run an airport and to have airline status.