This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)
Remote air traffic control allows flight information service to be provided from a location other than the airport whilst maintaining a level of operational safety. Now, such technology is being tested by the US military.
A military airbase in Florida has been testing a remote digital tower that allows air traffic control to take place hundreds, or even thousands of miles, away from runways.
The testing that took place at Homestead Air Reserve Base in late 2020 was done using real-world scenarios and the airbase’s daily operations. In this phase, operators will actively control aircraft using the system while the airfield’s tower will serve as a backup.
The technology was developed by Frequentis. According to the company, the “Remote Digital Tower has the ability to support contingency operations, improve the situational awareness of air traffic controllers, and facilitate the control of several airfields from a central location,” as told to nationaldefensemagazine.org.
The technology is sold to public sector aviation agencies in regions such as Scandinavia, where some airfields are infrequently used, and operating them remotely makes economic sense.
For militaries, the system can be set up rapidly and can keep air traffic controllers out of harm’s way in complex environments.
The system includes augmentation features such as data tags, bounding boxes and visual overlays.
It is also the first time that a remote digital tower has been integrated with the Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System allowing controllers to see pertinent radar display data overlaid on the panoramic out-the-window view, the company said in a statement.
Once the latest assessment is complete, the company will move to another Air Force base where a mobile solution will be demonstrated and tested.