This System Controls Air Traffic from a 1000 Km Distance

remote air traffic control

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Remote air traffic control enables the management of multiple airports from one site. A new center for remote air traffic control began operating at the Stockholm Arlanda Airport. With this center, Saab is introducing a second-generation Digital Tower (r-TWR), part of its Digital Air Traffic Solutions (SDATS). The Tower is located at the Kiruna Airport and is meant to send information to the new remote control center (RTC), in Stockholm.

The system comprises two major parts: The On-Airport Equipment can be located at the local airport or at multiple remote airports. The Control Facility has a great degree of variability, depending on the specific use case. In the most common case, a Digital Tower Center (DTC), consisting of a number of Digital Tower Modules (DTMs), controls one or more airports, some simultaneously. 

In Sweden, the digital tower system at Kiruna airport, located north of the Arctic Circle, will provide a 360-degree view of the entire airport, thanks to its cameras and sensors. A total of 14 high-resolution cameras and sensors are fitted to the mast, in order to provide live footage, plus audio and radar data, to the RTC.

With the help of high-speed fiber-optic cables, all of the information is sent more than 620 miles (1,000 km) away, to the RTC in Stockholm. That’s a huge distance, compared to the London City Airport’s Digital Tower, which sends the data 85 miles (136 km) away, in Hampshire. London City Airport was the first major international airport to operate a remote air traffic control system. 

The control team that is so far away, can have instant access to what is going on at the airport, which means increased situational awareness. And, in turn, this is essential for increasing safety, as remote operators can take important decisions faster and based on accurate information.

This new digital air traffic control center in Stockholm will manage air traffic for more than 20 airports, 24 hours per day, all year long. And, by the end of 2022, 3 more Swedish airports will be equipped with Saab’s Digital Towers, according to