Remote Towers presented: - Significant international potential

On Monday, the CEOs of Avinor, KONGSBERG and Indra Navia came together to present their plans for remote-operated air traffic control towers. This initiative is the largest to be ever launched in this sector of international air transport, and will provide safe and efficient operations at Norwegian airports in the years ahead.

In August, KONGSBERG and Avinor Air Navigation Services announced a NOK 400 million contract for the supply of a number of remotely controlled air traffic control towers. Kongsberg Gruppen will be the main supplier, in close cooperation with its partner Indra Navia AS.

On Monday 28 September, the plans and technological potentials were presented.

“Remote towers are an important focus area that offers great possibilities both for the Avinor Group and the Norwegian aviation industry. The technology allows for safe and efficient operation of Norwegian airports, and will help us to maintain the extensive aviation services we have in Norway,” says Dag Falk-Petersen, Avinor CEO.

Modern technology

Avinor had previously decided to invest in remote tower services at up to 15 airports from a control tower centre in Bodø. A further expansion is expected to include more of Avinor's airports. Kongsberg and Indra Navia will deliver a complete solution for remote controlled tower services for several airports from one control centre. This solution is better than comparable technology on the market today, and will be well suited for demanding climatic conditions.

“We have used expertise from several areas of the Group to produce a unique sensor technology composed of newly developed and existing components that provide optical resolution at 360 degrees. It is a seamless image where many of today’s challenges in re-creating such a large field of view have been solved using only one camera. The system also has additional features such as night capability using an infrared sensor. This tower solution will have significant international potential,” says Walter Qvam, CEO of KONGSBERG.

“Indra Navia has years of experience in delivering solutions to international Air Traffic Management (ATM), including solutions for tower services for the world’s largest airports and leading ATM service providers. Being part of this unique delivery and collaboration constellation helps to ensure our position as a leading provider of ATM solutions, while also safeguarding jobs and our expertise in Norway. We are both pleased and proud,” says Eldar Hauge, CEO of Indra Navia Norway.

A safe, effective solution

With remote controlled towers, the service can be operated at several airports from the same place. This allows for one person to handle several airports simultaneously and avoids substantial investment in towers and equipment at each individual airport. Possibilities for better and more efficient operations are considerably enhanced. Maintenance costs at each airport are also expected to be significantly lower. The cost of air traffic control tower services is expected to decrease by 30-40% in total. Lower costs at airports mean lower fees for airlines, and this will help to maintain the current extensive route network in Norway. It is a prerequisite for the introduction of the new solution that it is just as safe as, or even safer than, the present solution for control tower services.
The companies expect the tower centre in Bodø and remote control of the first tower to be completed in 2017.