Distance is no longer a factor
r-TWR are digital towers which enable the remote use of air traffic services (ATS) from any location. Being at an airport, air base or at a centralised location, distance is no longer a factor. The r-TWR functions can be integrated to a traditional tower as a hybrid solution, and can support the ramp and apron management using the same information. It can also be deployed and put in place when needed.
Through the use of digital camera technology and sensors, operators can effectively conduct and manage various services remotely, based
on visual surveillance. This removes the need to be on-site and occupying critical space at an airport, in favour of a chosen location.
Introducing the r-TWR Family
For each model, there is a comprehensive list of optional extras that can be selected to boost your airport’s operational efficiency and safety whilst reducing maintenance and labour costs. Further, all r-TWR models are fully integrable with any existing system, boosting efficiency and usability seamlessly in an unintrusive manner.
The r-TWR Family
Our most flexible model is designed to support LCAs with multiple runways of differing lengths and configurations where availability and capacity are paramount.
o 100 percent capacity contingency for a traditional tower
o Alternative to building new tower structures
o Supports multiple 360 AEP/MEP sensors with masts (up to 50 m), runway end cameras and multiple gap-filler cameras
The r-TWR LCA can be configured to work with a mix of standard and compact RTMs and can be fully integrated with the Saab I-ATS automation suite
This is our most widely used model, optimised for single runway operations, standardised implementation and operational transition.
o Compatible with AEP and/or MEP 360 systems
o Variable mast heights between 20–50 m (all in 3 m increments)
o Comes with a standard RTM for two or more operators (can be replaced by a smaller compact RTM on request)
o Prepared for Multiple Airport Control if there are two or more airports in the centre
The r-TWR Regional is our bestseller and has an impressive track record of hours and years in operation.
The r-TWR Hybrid provides airports and ANSPs with the capability to integrate digital tower information and capability into existing tower cabs.
o Can combine any camera variants onto a display area of selectable size
o System can be adapted to fit the available space
Similar to the r-TWR LCA, an existing tower’s automation system with standard interfaces can be integrated onto the visual presentation.
VRC (Virtual Ramp Control)
The apron/ramp control area enables airlines or airports to control and drive significant value before aircraft are handed to the Area Control Centre (ACC).
o Simultaneously provides a comprehensive 360 view view with Picture-in-Picture (PiP) gap filling cameras augmented by dual wavelength PTZ cameras
o Seamless integration with Saab’s Aerobahn CDM platform, providing flight ID associated with each aircraft
o Enables the creation of holistic Non-Movement-Area control centers to improve in-and-out gate flow
Our r-TWR Mil model utilises all features offered to civil customers, with added functions more tailored to meet military requirements.
o Increased cyber security protection
o Connectivity to external military systems and functions used in everyday military operations
o Fully integrated UAS and bird detection function
o Primary air situation display capability when combined with the Saab Giraffe 1X sensor
The r-TWR Mil can be supplied with a full or compact RTM, dependant on the operation and requirement, and all-weather AEP 360 camera housing to ensure maximum detection even in the most adverse conditions. The r-TWR Mil can also include the Aircraft Last Look Check (ALLC) capability if required, which replicates traditional safety tasks as well as enhancing safety by seeing areas of an airfield that might currently be blind to the controller.
The r-TWR Deployable has been designed for militaryand relief operations, or as a home base contingencyin the case of significant equipment failure.
o Based on the same camera/sensor (MEP 360)technology as the Main Operating Base solutions, which reduce training
o Inherently and easily transportable with a reduced airlift footprint – full system can be transported on a trailer or truck and be operational in 30 minutes
o Includes a camera array integrated with an erectable hydraulic mast and compact RTM installed in a transportable shelter – ballistic protection can be added if required
o Subject to connectivity, data can be sent to a protected shelter on the airfield or to a remote location away from the hostile/emergency areas
This model is a must for a versatile, safe and flexible base operation for your organisation.
Saab r-TWR offers the ability to operate multiple airports from a centralized facility – a centre of digital towers.
We call these Remote Tower Centres (RTC). An RTC can be a standalone facility or can be combined with an Approach or Area Control Centre, for example.
Saab r-TWR supports up to 24 airports in 1 RTC, with full flexibility to operate an airport from any Remote Tower Module. An r-TWR Centre can combine any type of r-TWR model and is preferably merged with our r-TWR Integrated
Training and Simulation capabilities to allow for on-site training on identical systems as used in operations.
Working in an RTC tends to provide increased work satisfaction, with access to other colleagues and management and the ability to share
expertise on-site amongst multiple airports.
HMI-integrated operator menus – context menus
It is extremely important for an operator to have the best situational awareness possible in the working environment.
Maximizing the heads-up time is therefore a crucial step in achieving the best possible situational awareness.
In over 10 years of development and operational validations, the HMI has evolved from being initially controlled from the traditional location, at the desk, to being controlled where the operator is looking, on the Visual Presentation (VP).
This is the reason why Saab, in close cooperation with operators, has developed the new concept of context menus in the VP. These context menus are dynamic, meaning that only the available functionality in each specific situation is selectable and displayed as a semi-transparent overlay on the VP.
The core of the r-TWR system is the controller’s working environment. At Saab we call this the Remote Tower Module (RTM). The r-TWR RTM can be different in size and system integration, from full separation of automation systems, VCS and control of airport systems, to a fully integrated Saab solution providing the basis for increased productivity and reduced maintenance.
The Saab r-TWR RTM and its functions are controlled via on-screen menus, which increase the heads-up time and reduces the number of additional screens and input devices. Our unique Visual Presentation Interaction (VPI) allows the controllers to make the best use of the visual information, including digital slide and zoom, predefined views and runway sweeps.
The MAC applies when one operator simultaneously provides ATS for more than one aerodrome from one RTM.
Technically, any RTM in the RTC can run any combination of multiple aerodromes. From an operational point of view, traffic complexity, operator licensing/rating and human factors, etc. must be taken into account.
In 2021, London City Airport adopted a Saab r-TWR to become the first major international airport in the world to be fully controlled by a remote digital air traffic control tower.
Switching from a physical tower, London City’s controllers now manage the runway from Swanwick with 360-degree monitoring thanks to 16 mast-mounted high-definition cameras and sensors.
“The tower is a fantastic piece of kit and I’m always thrilled to show people around!”
Watch Manager, London City Airport
Saab’s r-TWR is the first digital tower used in military operations. It's fully operational within NATO and is certified by the the German Military Aviation Authority (LufABw).
NATO’s main operation base for its fleet of Boeing E-3A Airborne Warning & Control System (AWACS) in Geilenkirchen, Germany will be using the Saab r-TWR in all weather conditions.
The solution will service a complex military airbase, handling additional aircraft types including helicopters and occasional traffic from fighter jets.
Saab’s r-TWR has been in continuous operation at Houston since November 2019. Since its inception, United Airlines has seen tremendous operational benefits from its VRC (Virtual Ramp Control) centre that combines two ramp towers into one facility.
These benefits are further enabled by a seamless integration with Saab’s Surface Management platform, Aerobahn, in tandem with MLAT and ADS-B sensors for an optimal working environment.
“The facility is truly state of the art and we’ve seen an increase in the arrival rates”.
United Airlines Ramp Tower Manager
Brasov-Ghimbav International Airport is the first newly built airport in Romania for over 20 years and will be operated using a Saab r-TWR from the offset. With a tight schedule of preparing infrastructure, installations and training, the Saab r-TWR system was installed and ready for testing within 11 months after contract signing.
The project is a cooperation between the Airport of Brasov, UTI and Bog’Art, ROMATSA and Saab. The airport will be operated remotely by the Romanian ANSP, ROMATSA, from an RTC in Arad, more than 400 km away.
“It is fantastic that our new airport will benefit from the most advanced technology in the field and make operations more efficient from the start”
President of the Brasov County Council
Our series r-TWR Talks explores future technologies, production and development as well as other digital tower insights. Click "Read more" below to be sure you find all episodes.
- Episode 1- Saab presents five key lessons learnt from r-TWR installations around the world.
- Episode 2 - The journey to Saab r-TWR 2.0. Discover the industry, scale and sustainability developments that led to Air Traffic Service 24/7 being realized.
- Episode 3 - Take a look at Saab’s evolving edge of technology concept and our plans for r-TWR 3.0.
- Episode 4 - Meet the teams developing and producing Saab’s next generation of digital towers from their production facilities in Sweden. Part 1.
- Episode 5 - Hear again from the team developing and producing Saab’s next generation of digital towers. Learn the safety and security aspects of r-TWR development and see the test facilities. Part 2.
As a global security company, maintenance and support is in our DNA.
One tool to complete the full job.The maintenance of the camera housing must be easy, safe, and work in all weather conditions. The video presents the camera system maintenance.