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How does a remote tower system work?

2 min read

Saab’s Remote Tower system has been developed in close collaboration with the Swedish Civil Aviation Administration. The system provides a safe and cost-effective means of controlling the air traffic at an airport remotely from another location.

Remote air traffic control is based on several integrated and interacting subsystems. High-resolution images and other information are sent from a camera tower at the airport to a workstation in the remote control tower. This may contain several workstations where an air traffic controller can monitor two or three airports in parallel.

The air traffic controller can monitor air traffic via screens which provide an image that corresponds to the view through the window in a traditional control tower. The remote control tower is also connected to all the local systems that are necessary for air navigation services such as controlling runway lights, collecting local weather data, controlling emergency alarms and handling navigation support.

The camera tower also contains a signalling lamp which could be used as a back-up in the event of a radio communications failure between the air traffic controller and a pilot.

The system can also be used to serve as a reserve control tower for large airports.