Searidge clinches Loveland remote tower work

Canada’s Searidge Technologies has been chosen to install, test and certify a remote air traffic control tower at the Northern Colorado Regional Airport in Loveland — one of the first of its kind in the United States.

“Ours will be the first one that combines both the cameras, the visual aspect of remote control, with radar information that will make it more successful,” said David Ulane, director of the Colorado Aeronautics Division, which is paying the $8.8 million cost of the project.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced Wednesday that it had entered into an agreement with Searidge.

Construction of a ground-level building at the airport in Loveland could begin within the next few months, and officials said they were looking at four different locations at the airport for the different technology and stations.

Equipment should be installed by the end of the year with testing scheduled to begin and continue over the next year. Active testing is scheduled from autumn 2018 into the summer of 2019.

Anticipated FNL Remote Tower Project Schedule
Execute OTA – Summer 2017
Site Survey– Summer 2017
Install Equipment – Fall/ Winter 2017
Site Acceptance Test – Winter 2017
Passive Testing – Spring/ Summer 2018
Active Testing – Fall 2018 – Spring 2019
Initial Operating Capability – Fall/ Winter 2019

The remote tower system project is a collaboration among the FAA, Northern Colorado Regional Airport and the Colorado Division of Aeronautics.

“Searidge is looking forward to working with the FAA and CDOT Aeronautics to certify one of the first Remote Towers in the United States,” said Moodie Cheikh, co-founder and chief executive, Searidge Technologies. “We are confident in our team and our technology to deliver a flexible solution that will not only meet needs of [the airport] but also demonstrate how such a system could be used around the country to provide safe, cost effective control services.”

The regional airport was chosen as the test facility for this technology earlier in the project development based on several factors including the availability of commercial air service, traffic volume, and the wide mix of aircraft types operating there.

“We at the Northern Colorado Regional Airport are more than ready for the start of this pioneering project. I am looking forward to the transition from planning to implementation, and keeping innovation alive and well in Colorado,” said airport director, Jason Licon.

The remote tower system project is being funded with $8.8 million from the Colorado Division of Aeronautics which is currently supported solely by the collection of aviation fuel sales and excise taxes.

The Colorado Division of Aeronautics collaborated previously with the FAA on the pioneering development of the Colorado Mountain Radar Project, which deployed Wide Area Multilateration and ADS-B surveillance technologies to provide enhance surveillance (radar) in areas of the Colorado mountains previously without radar coverage. Phase I of this project was completed in 2010 at airports in Craig, Hayden, Steamboat Springs and Rifle, Colorado. Phase II of the Colorado Mountain Radar Project became operational in 2013 and included airports in Durango, Gunnison, Montrose and Telluride, Colorado. Deployment of the Mountain Radar Project increased operational efficiency and safety at eight of Colorado’s busy mountain airports. Lessons learned from the Mountain Radar Project ultimately led to the development of the remote tower concept.

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