Saab to deliver NATS remote tower demonstrator

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Sweden’s Saab has been selected by the UK’s NATS to install a remote tower demonstrator suite.
The installation is taking place at NATS’ Swanwick centre and will demonstrate the air navigation service provider’s capability to provide remote and digital air traffic control service.
Saab and the Swedish air navigation service provider LFV were the first to put remote air traffic control towers into operation in Sweden 2015, now with 6,500 hours of operational experience.
“This is further evidence that our long-term, systematic work is bearing fruit; this will strengthen our market position internationally. Our solid operational experience, together with NATS as a leading provider of air traffic control, is a great combination to transform the business for air traffic services to the next level and into digital solutions,” said Johan Klintberg, chief executive of Saab Digital Air Traffic Solutions.
Saab Digital Air Traffic solutions, a joint venture between Saab and LFV was established in June 2016. By combining LFV’s unique operational experience with Saab’s world class technology solutions Saab Digital Air Traffic Solutions can drive the process forward from planning to commissioning and operating remote air traffic services. Digital air traffic solutions is a break-through in air traffic services and will transform the business with greater flexibility, enhanced security and reduced costs with new business models supporting the stakeholders.
“Digital remote towers are a hugely exciting technological development for our industry. Delivering airport air traffic services remotely from centralised locations could be transformational for our customers and we are actively exploring a number of potential opportunities. Having this demonstrator facility at Swanwick gives us a compelling shop window in which to highlight our capability and a possible solution that we can offer our airport customers,” said Mike Stoller, director, airports, at NATS.
The airports in Örnsköldsvik and in Sundsvall are controlled via the Remote Tower Centre (RTC) in Sundsvall, with Linköping airport in Sweden due to become operational in 2017 as the third remotely controlled airport. In December 2016 a letter of intent was signed with Scandinavian Mountains Airport to provide remote air traffic services to the first airport in the world built without a conventional tower. Successful test installations have been set up in Australia, the USA, the Netherlands, Norway and Ireland in different types of harsh environments and at various distances.