Indra, Avinor advance multiple remote tower ops

Spain’s Indra has successfully validated multiple remote tower operations with Norwegian air navigation service provider (ANSP) Avinor, demonstrating the possibility of managing multiple airports from one single integrated screen.

During two weeks, four air traffic controllers from Avinor performed validation scenarios for multiple remote tower operations as part of the PJ05 SESAR Remote Tower project.

This included validation of the process to move the responsibility of one aerodrome from one Multiple Remote Tower Module (MRTM) to another while maintaining operations on two other aerodromes. The validation was performed as a real-time simulation including Indra 3D tower simulators for the three Norwegian aerodromes of Røst, Haugesund and Bodø. Indra’s InNOVA tower system was used to provide a fully integrated working position with all ATM functions, including traffic situation display (surveillance), electronic flight strips, meteorological information and aerodrome selection.

“Working with Indra in the SESAR Multiple Remote Tower validations fits perfectly with our remote tower deployment program. We are ambitious in our aspirations to deploy multiple remote tower operations, and the successful validations performed with the Indra systems provide valuable insights in developing these services,” said Jan Østby, director of remote tower services at Avinor.

The validation also included Indra’s remote tower planner tool, used by supervisors to plan the allocation of aerodromes in a remote tower center with multiple remote tower modules. The tool takes various factors in to account, e.g. traffic load (flight plans), weather conditions, traffic distribution, type of traffic, simultaneous movements, capacity and complexity, and provides a suggested allocation to the supervisor.

The supervisor is able to further adjust parameters to explore other allocation possibilities. In the validation, several scenarios were used for a remote tower center including 15 aerodromes and 15 MRTMs.

The validation ended with an open day with visitors coming from all over the world to learn from the pioneering remote and digital tower project. More than 80 ATM professionals attended demonstrations of the remote tower planner tool and a live demonstration of a multiple simultaneous operation on three aerodromes with an air traffic controller from Avinor.

“Participating in the SESAR programmes, and cooperating closely with ANSPs like Avinor, is very important to Indra as an innovative systems provider. Through these programs we develop new technology that enhances safety and capacity in airspace around the world,” said Elin Blakstad, director of tower systems at Indra.