Remote ATC towers in Ireland

The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) has signed a contract with Saab for the delivery of a Remote Tower Centre to Dublin Airport and the corresponding remote tower installations at Cork and Shannon Airport. Electronic Flight Strips (EFS) are also included in the order and will be installed at all three airports.

Saab’s Remote Tower solution is the world’s first operational and approved system. The Remote Tower installation at Cork and Shannon will be operated from Dublin Remote Tower Centre and will be a part of the large scale evaluation carried out by SESAR, Single European Sky ATM Research. The Electronic Flight Strips will be installed in the towers at Cork, Shannon and Dublin Airport.

The remote tower system includes high definition cameras and pan-tilt-zoom cameras, surveillance and meteorological sensors, microphones, signal light guns and other devices for deployment at the airport. Data from these sensors are sent to a Remote Tower Center (RTC) to be displayed in real time. A controller at the RTC has the tools, in addition to live video, to operate the airport in a similar manner as he or she would in a normal Air Traffic Control Tower.

In Sweden the airport of Örnsköldsvik in the central part of the country became the world’s first airport with air traffic control on distance in April 2015, with the real air traffic controllers working at Sundsvall airport more than 70 miles (120 km) away. Saab tested the system first at Ängelholm airport in the southwest, a former military airbase turned civilian. Even Sundsvall Airport is moving to become a RTC location, with Linköping-Saab Airport – where Saab builds the Gripen fighter jet and has commercial aviation and military visitors – becoming the third Swedish airfield the coming years with the system.

Source: Saab, with editional reporting by
Featured image: The SAAB Remote Tower Centre (Image © SAAB)