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Advanced Remote Tower

Tags: Air


The enhanced situational awareness is one of the main prerequisites for improved regularity at the aerodrome, which has proven to be one of the bottlenecks in today’s ATM system.

A cost-benefit analysis regarding remotely operated towers shows substantial economical benefits when compared to traditional ATC operations at airports. These benefits for the ANSP will in turn reduce the cost for airline operators and travellers.


The concept of placing the controller of the airport in a high building with windows overlooking the area of responsibility has remained unchanged. However, this involves a number of limitations to the concept of operations. Some of these are:

  • low utilisation of personnel resources
  • a need for redundant resources at each ATC unit
  • adding new aids and sensors often implies stand-alone equipment
  • stand-alone equipment adds to the head-down time thus removing focus from the primary field of view.

The ART project aims to change this concept and evolve airport operations. Its objectives are to:

  • remotely operate an airport ATC unit
  • combine remote operation with enhanced visibility and composite presentation of view and operational data
  • evaluate operational pros and cons of the remote airport concept.
Remote control tower
Remote control tower

Description of work

The following steps are planned to achieve these objectives:

  1. Design and construct a remote tower cab.
  2. Evaluate controller workload and situational awareness.
  3. Evaluate operational benefits with new possibilities to present information.
  4. Identify and quantify vital parameters for remote airport operations.
  5. Evaluate technical and operational safety issues.


The intention is to prove the concept and technology in low-density areas in order to explore the applicability in medium- and high-density areas. The ART concept will in turn be one of the bricks in the future concept of highly automated ATM at airports.

The concept of ART will also have spin-off effects in the areas of incident and accident investigation. ART will explore the possibility of not only using recorded voice communication but reproducing the course of events with audio and video copies of the controllers’ situation.

Major deliverables are the ART concept of operations, system design, incorporation and adaptation of sensors, and an ART demonstrator on a low-density airport in Sweden with the possibility to explore the concept at an operational airport. The possibility to control live traffic at specific events at the airport will be analysed.