Variety

Now, it’s possible to manage Coimbatore airport from Delhi

Ashwini Phadnis | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on June 02, 2015

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The airport in Sweden's Örnsköldsvik recently became the first in the world to be remote controlled. Developed by the aeronautics major SAAB, the technology helps a remote tower to handle air traffic in multiple airports.

With Airports Authority of India showing interest, Manod Jinnuri, Head, Sales and Marketing, SAAB India Technologies, explains why the remote tower will be beneficial. Excerpts.

What is a remote tower?

The SAAB Remote Tower (r-TWR) is an easy and secure way of providing air traffic control services without the conventional air traffic control tower. High definition images and relevant airport information are transferred via a data network to Air Traffic Controllers at a remote location, which could be at another airport. The system allows an Air Traffic Control centre to control an airport located elsewhere and even handle multiple airports.

Has the tower been used?

The Swedish Transport Agency has granted operational approval to the Swedish government’s Air Navigation Services Provider for a Remote Tower Centre located in Sundsvall to remotely provide Air Traffic Services to Örnsköldsvik Airport. The airport is located 150 km away. Simultaneously, the system is undergoing testing in other countries.

How many aircraft and airports can one remote tower handle?

The technology does not impose a limit. However, the authorities will decide the requirements and parameters for operation.

In India, will it be possible for a tower in Delhi to manage an airport in Coimbatore?

There are no such limitations inherent in the technology.



What portion of flight does the Tower handle — only take offs and landings or even overflight (when an aircraft flies at high altitude over the airport without landing)?

Remote tower, similar to a physical airport tower, handles take-offs and landings, but not overflight.

Since these towers

handle more than one airport, will it lead to job losses?

Remote towers will not lead to job losses in the Indian aviation scenario.

They will instead allow for more flexible provision of Air Traffic Control services, based on time of day, seasonal variation and regional requirements.

India’s aviation market is going to grow at over 10 per cent a year for the next two decades. SAAB’s technology will allow Air Traffic Controllers to handle greater number of airports.

As the number of operational airports in India increases, tier 2 and 3 towns will have better connectivity, leading to an increase in trade and tourism. This will help create jobs in the sector.

Published on June 02, 2015
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