Leesburg Executive to resume remote tests

    Virginia’s Leesburg Executive Airport is to recommence testing its remote air traffic control system in June for a 30-day period.
    Phase 3a of the programme is set to begin June 25 and will involve off-site controllers using an array of on-airport cameras and microphones, “to assist in the definition and validation of processes for operational approval of a remote tower system”, according to the FAA.
    A temporary mobile control tower at the untowered airport will also be on-site as backup and could be phased out during testing if the programme progresses.
    Leesburg first went through its first round of operational testing in the third quarter of 2017, with Saab remote ATC technology. It is the first remote ATC system test site in the United States and general aviation and business organisations AOPA and NBAA worked with the FAA to conduct a safety assessment.
    “AOPA has been very active in supporting this initiative, and believes the system continues to demonstrate that it meets FAA requirements and facilitates the services pilots expect at a towered airport,” said AOPA senior director of airspace and air traffic Rune Duke.
    Northern Colorado Regional Airport is also scheduled to begin active testing of a remote tower system in fall 2018 with Canada’s Searidge Technologies in collaboration with the FAA.