• SJU reference # PJ.05-02 /Release 2019
  • Stakeholders
    ANSP
    AO
  • Benefits Cost-efficiency
    Safety
  • Status Available for industrialisation/deployment

The costs of providing air traffic services are high and need to be reduced, especially at low and medium density airports handling less than 40,000 movements a year. Control towers are expensive to build and maintain but the services they provide are important for the prosperity of the local community. Multiple remote tower module (MRTM) provides an opportunity for continued operation and integration of these airports into the global network.

SMALL AIRPORTS BENEFIT FROM MULTIPLE REMOTE TOWER SERVICES

Control towers are expensive to build and maintain but the services they provide are important for the prosperity of the local community and for maintaining safe air traffic operations.  With a proven return on investment, remote towers offer a safe and sustainable solution to lowdensity airports handling less than 40,000 movements a year. Multiple remote tower module (MRTM) has the added advantage of enabling these airports to not only maintain their operations, but to become integrated into a broader network.

The remote tower concept has expanded since the first module gained certification in Sweden in 2015 and latest SESAR research validates advanced features necessary for controllers to maintain situational awareness for two or three airports simultaneously. The Multiple remote tower module (MRTM) solution applies to airports typically handling up to 40,000 annual movements but the local traffic characteristics, environment and ANSP constraints and preferences will determine how the MRTM can be deployed. It is applicable to all types of airspace users including general aviation, rotorcraft and remotely piloted systems (RPAS) and builds on multiple remote tower research carried out in SESAR 1.

SESAR 2020 partners carried out four real-time simulations and one shadow mode trial using four different validation platforms addressing various airport environments. The exercises tested human performance, visual information displays, advanced voice services, technical support systems, and safety performance. The results showed the MTRM could handle the same traffic volume as the single remote tower with up to 25% fewer controllers. Additionally, different types of aerodromes could be paired together in the MTRM module, and in cases of traffic overload, aerodromes could be split between modules. In the examples, traffic complexity and mix of aircraft type directly impacts workload, as does weather and airport layout.

SESAR recommends EASA updates European safety regulations related to multiple tower services and related risks in multiple mode of operation, taking into account the increased level of maturity. SESAR also encourages the use of support tools in place of voice for sector coordination and recognises the need to harmonise procedures, alerts and alarms at different aerodromes.

BENEFITS

Cost-efficiency gain of up to 25% in controller resources

Safety and capacity are maintained

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