Serco, Kongsberg team on remote ATC solution

Commercial air navigation service provider Serco and Norwegian Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace have signed a strategic collaboration agreement to address the emerging UK market for air traffic control services.
Under the agreement, Kongsberg will provide its Ninox Remote Tower (RT) and Remote Virtual Tower (RVT) technology, based upon the world’s most advanced military sensor technology.  This system has already been procured by Norway’s Avinor, following a competitive tender process and is being installed across 15 Norwegian airports by the end of 2021 with an option of an additional 21 airports.
Serco said it will bring its experience and understanding of UK government procurement, together with its international expertise in aviation services and the provision of international air navigation services in the UK, US and Dubai.
The joint Kongsberg-Serco solution will allow the simultaneous provision of air traffic services that can provide for either an onsite virtual solution for a single airport; a solution for multiple airports, where air traffic services are performed from one remote location or the provision of a contingency back-up service.
The Serco and Kongsberg team said this will allow them to offer very low maintenance costs and total cost of ownership.
The system has low bandwidth requirements, which enable long distance transmissions over multiple sites.  The high situational awareness combined with the integrated tower display system provides the ATC with access to all tower functions through a single, user-friendly workspace.
The system is designed to function in extreme environments with outstanding reliability and ruggedness.  These features, combined with the high network security based on open international Data Distributed Service (DDS) standard and a true service-oriented architecture (SOA) will allow for future enhancements and development.
Commenting on the agreement, Paul McCarter, Serco managing director, defence, said: “There are over 190 airports and airfields in the UK and much of the supporting ATC infrastructure is outdated and due to be renewed in the next few years. Our agreement with Kongsberg presents a great opportunity to bring world class innovative technology to the UK and combines two companies with world leading expertise.”
Kjetil Myhra of Kongsberg, said: “Our Remote Tower technology has already been selected to equip 15 Norwegian airports and offers operators the opportunity to reduce costs and improve safety and reliability.  Working with Serco, who will bring their understanding of the UK market and air traffic control will provide an exciting opportunity for us.”