Defence and security company Saab, along with the Swedish Air Navigation Service Provider (LFV), have received final operational approval from the Swedish Transport Agency for the remote operation of Örnsköldsvik Airport from Sundsvall, Sweden.
This achievement means the world’s first airport remotely controlled by Remote Tower Services (RTS) will commence shortly, paving the way for more efficient, safe and cost-effective delivery of air traffic control services.
This milestone indicates that all technologies and operational procedures meet key industry and regulatory criteria for providing air traffic control services. This includes the use of Saab sensors and equipment for air traffic services and LFV’s existing procedures, enabling a streamlined approval process.
“This achievement means we have a system in place that meets all applicable safety regulations,” said Niclas Gustavsson, director of international affairs and business development, LFV. “With this final regulatory approval, LFV is now making the last preparations to enable RTS from Sundsvall, ultimately reducing operating costs and increasing the efficiency of operations.”
Saab sensors are deployed at Örnsköldsvik Airport that will provide data directly to a Remote Tower Center (RTC) also located at Sundsvall, 100 km away. The RTC utilizes multiple high-definition displays, various input devices and new air traffic controller tools that provide the same functionality as those already in use at Örnsköldsvik’s tower.
“Saab and LFV adopted a strategy that used new equipment that uses the existing procedures already approved by regulators and applied them to a new application,” said Anders Carp, Head of Saab’s business unit Traffic Management. “Air Navigation Service Providers and Civil Aviation Authorities across the globe now have a successful model in place for the regulatory approval process for remotely controlled air traffic services.”
Saab has pioneered the development of remote tower systems and technologies in cooperation with air traffic controllers and air navigation service providers (ANSPs). Most recently, Saab entered into a partnership with the Virginia SATSLab, Inc. and the Leesburg Executive Airport in the U.S. to demonstrate and evaluate Saab remote tower technologies at Leesburg Executive Airport, Leesburg, Virginia.