Saab Gets Clearance to Commission Remote Tower Technology

You have heard of unmanned vehicles and unmanned planes. Now it is time for unmanned air traffic control systems. With the advent of the new technology developed by Saab, known as Remote Tower, traditional air traffic management could go through a sea of changes in future.

The Swedish Transport Agency has now given Swedish air navigation service provider, LFV, clearance to handle all critical flight safety aspects at Örnsköldsvik Airport. As the Remote Tower is commissioned, Sundsvall Remote Tower Centre (RTC) will come into operation as of autumn 2014. In what is being considered a pioneering innovation, the airport in Örnsköldsvik will be the first in the world to be remotely controlled. Air traffic controllers at Sundsvall RTC will remotely control take-offs and landings at a distance of 100 km.

Saab for long has had experience in air traffic management. In addition to this, its strength also lies in working with advanced sensors and system integration. The Saab Remote Tower combines all these experiences and offers a unique solution for air traffic management, says Håkan Buskhe, President and CEO of Saab.

The Remote Tower product suite includes high definition and pan-tilt-zoom cameras, surveillance and meteorological sensors, microphones, signal light guns and other devices for deployment at the airport. Data from these sensors are sent to a Remote Tower Center to be displayed in real time. A controller at the RTC has the tools, in addition to live video, to operate the airport in a similar manner as he or she would in a traditional Air Traffic Control Tower.

Saab has worked in close partnership with Swedish air navigation service provider, LFV, to develop this technology and meet air traffic controllers' operational needs. Not only does this technology offer to replace traditional towers at low traffic airports, it also has the potential to expand the capabilities of an existing airport. The technology also helps to improve safety and lower costs.