Technology partnership between Isavia and Frequentis explores remote tower in sub-zero temperatures to benefit isolated airfields
The Icelandic Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP), Isavia, and Frequentis formed a technology partnership in 2017 to investigate suitable remote tower camera and casing solutions that would be effective in Icelandic weather conditions. The ongoing partnership is analysing the benefits this solution will have for isolated airports, by enabling ATS to be carried out from a centrally located facility.
“The Isavia and Frequentis partnership for remote tower solutions provided a learning curve for both companies to better understand the challenges related to weather, infrastructure and isolated airports. The partnership focused on cost effective implementation using infrastructure on-site. The concept is a game changer in terms of how isolated airports will be controlled remotely in the future.” Says Teodor Simiganoschi, Project Manager at Isavia.
Remote tower tests and validations around the world have already shown the decreased cost and increased safety benefits. By mounting high definition cameras and communication technology at the airport and feeding information back to screens at a remote facility it is no longer necessary to build and maintain costly concrete towers. In regions where smaller, low traffic volume airfields are at risk of closure, the remote tower concept allows ATC operations to be located at an easily accessible site, reducing the level of onsite staffing required.
“We are pleased to be exploring extreme weather remote tower solutions with Isavia that remain cost- effective. The ability for remote tower to provide cost savings to smaller regional airports highlights it as an essential solution for airfields with low traffic volume and increasing risk of closure, effectively providing them with a lifeline. Additionally, the idea that several low traffic airports can be served and consolidated into one remote tower centre also offers additional cost benefits. This solution offers enormous potential in terms of process optimisation, utilisation of resources and functional synergies across multiple airport locations.” Says Hannu Juurakko, Frequentis Vice President ATM Civil.
Isavia manages one of the largest airspaces in the world from the North Pole almost to Scotland, and from the Greenwich Meridian in the East to west of Greenland. Iceland’s glacial landscape and icy temperatures, especially in the North of the country will require camera technology and casings that will protect the equipment and its performance despite climate challenges. Advanced video processing with artificial intelligence like machine and deep learning have the power to make airports of any size smarter.