The Agreement is a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) to enable the installation and eventual certification of the Kongsberg Remote Tower System at the Airport. Public-Private Partnerships are a tool that help governments leverage the expertise and efficiency of the private sector, raise capital, and spur development. Kongsberg Remote Towers replace the traditional airport air traffic control towers with a virtual or remote tower and are operated by controllers from a Remote Tower Control Center, which may be on an airport or located miles away.
The installation and evaluation of the Kongsberg Remote Tower moves the Airport and the United States a step closer to enabling Remote Towers and their built-in smart technical capabilities.
The Kongsberg Remote Tower will be located at the Concord Airport and provide secure, high fidelity video presentations from a camera sensor. The KONGSBERG leading edge electro-optical sensor technology is part of the system – a direct spin-off from the world’s most advanced military sensor technology. The 360-degree camera sensor will be used to replace the information controllers presently gather by looking out the tower cab windows. The Remote Tower system also provides added capabilities that will increase the controllers’ areas of visibility and enhance it with infrared capabilities, increasing aviation safety – all in support of the Remote Tower technology being evaluated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Eirik Tord Jensen, President of Kongsberg Defense Systems Inc, USA, said: “The fact that we have entered into a formal, long-term agreement with the City of Concord shows the progress and commitment being made between the parties and to Remote Tower technology. Remote Tower technology represents a cost-effective solution for the future of air traffic management. Now the team moves on to the next major milestone of making the Kongsberg Remote Tower an operational installation to begin its FAA Type Certification in 2023.”
Kjetil Reiten Myhra, Executive Vice President, Integrated Defence Systems, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace said: “Kongsberg Remote Towers system is operational in Europe, and we are proud to bring this ground-breaking technology to Concord-Padgett Regional Airport. KONGSBERG will be working closely with the local air traffic controllers to customize and adapt the system to support FAA Remote Tower Type Certification. We look forward to providing US airports with viable alternatives to traditional air traffic control towers and controllers with modern technology to perform their safety-critical services.”
Dirk Vanderleest, Concord Airport Director, said: “It’s important to address the issue of rising costs for our brick and mortar tower and identify innovative means to meet our changing airport operating environment. Remote Towers have been designed to enable more efficient, cost effective air traffic management which is welcomed news for our airport and many others across the country. We look forward to working together with KONGSBERG, the FAA, and our Air Traffic Controllers on this exciting project.”
William C. “Bill” Dusch, Concord Mayor, said: “In Concord, we are known for our high-performance living and are proud to be a leading destination for innovation and excellence. We are excited to partner with KONGSBERG to deliver cutting edge aviation services that will drive economic growth and transform air traffic management across our region, state and country.”
KONGSBERG Defence & Aerospace
KONGSBERG Defence & Aerospace, a subsidiary of KONGSBERG, is Norway’s premier supplier of defence and aerospace-related systems and solutions. The company’s portfolio comprises products and systems for command and control, information, data handling and surveillance, communications solutions, space technology, missiles and remotely controlled systems. KONGSBERG Defence & Aerospace also has extensive capabilities within advanced composite manufacturing and maintenance, repair and overhaul within the aircraft and helicopter market.
KONGSBERG (OSE-ticker: KOG) is an international, leading global technology corporation delivering mission-critical systems and solutions with extreme performance for customers that operate under extremely challenging conditions. We work with nations, businesses and research environments to push the boundaries of technology development in industries such as space, offshore and energy, merchant marine, defence and aerospace, and more. KONGSBERG has about 11,000 employees located in more than 40 countries, creating a total revenue of NOK 25.6bn in 2020.
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KONGSBERG’S REMOTE TOWERS
Kongsberg is contracted by Avinor to deliver a Remote Tower System to control 15 airports from one Remote Tower Center (RTC). This is the largest Remote Tower contract in the world, and the contract also includes an option to expand the system to cover 36 airports. The Remote Tower system with the first airport was declared operational in October 2019, and today 4 airports are controlled from the RTC. By the end of 2023, 15 airports will be remotely controlled from the RTC.
The Avinor Remote Tower system will provide more cost-efficient operations for Avinor, and also reduce the need for investments in infrastructure and new brick and mortar towers. The high level of safety for air traffic operations has also been maintained after implementing the Remote Tower system. The digitalization of Air Traffic Services is also enabling remote operations of other services like drone operations and remote monitoring of airport systems.
In Menorca, Spain, Kongsberg together with its Spanish partner Gesnaer and the airport owner Aena, is implementing a digital control tower for Menorca airport, where the tower is operated by Enaire.
CONCORD-PADGETT REGIONAL AIRPORT
Owned and operated by the City of Concord, Concord-Padgett Regional Airport is one of 72 publicly owned airports in North Carolina. The airport opened in 1994 and encompasses approximately 750 acres and has one runway spanning 7,400 feet in length. It is a major driver of economic development in Concord, Cabarrus County, and the surrounding region, generating over 5,000 jobs and an economic output of more than $831 million dollars annually.
Conveniently located just 25 miles northeast of Charlotte, North Carolina, Concord-Padgett Regional Airport is an ideal destination for both business travelers and vacationers. It is the fourth busiest tower in the state, and its popularity and demand for services continues to grow each year. The airport has several elite NASCAR race teams and premiere flight schools as tenants and a growing waitlist for its hangars. The total number of based aircraft increased by 22% over the last five years. Concord-Padgett Regional Airport is also a Fixed Based Operator (FBO), providing private and general aviation fueling, line services, and aircraft parking.
Growth is strong at the commercial airline terminal as well. Allegiant Airlines continues to expand at Concord-Padgett Regional Airport, currently offering direct flights from Concord to eight destinations across Florida, as well as service to New Orleans, Louisiana. Allegiant Travel Company also announced plans to establish a base of operations at Concord-Padgett Regional Airport.
In total, Concord-Padgett Regional Airport had over 138,000 enplanements in 2021, and traffic at the airport continues to rebound following disruptions due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Camilla Brevik Hågensen
Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace
(+47) 47 90 83 83
Public Affairs and Project Manager
City of Concord, NC
Anne Cecilie Lund-Andersen
Group Manager Communication & Public Affairs
Kongsberg Gruppen ASA
(+47) 99 62 12 13