Estonian Air Navigation Services introduced its first ever remote air traffic control tower. This new tower is an innovative technological solution developed in Estonia to coordinate Estonian regional airports’ flights from a remote center located in Tallinn. The live video stream of Kuressaare Airport can already be seen from afar, but Tartu is going to be the first regional airport to be remotely controlled from Tallinn. The deployment in Tartu will be followed by Kuressaare, Pärnu and Kärdla airports.
The remote tower technology delivers air traffic services at multiple aerodromes in a centralized way. Tower control units, equipped with video cameras, will be built at the airports, offering a 24/7, 360-degree view of the surroundings to the aerodrome’s flight information services (AFIS) officer watching it on large screens. Currently available for one airport, the solution will enable one AFIS officer to manage three airports simultaneously in the future. The transition to a fully remote air traffic management process is planned to be completed by the end of 2025 at all Estonian regional airports.
"The new solution ensures safe and high-quality air traffic services around the clock. The service will not be affected by any weather conditions. It also allows us to provide air navigation services in a more flexible and cost-efficient way: we work based on a video-audio system and the workplace of air traffic controllers shall no longer be located in the immediate vicinity of the aerodrome requiring the service. This way, we can standardize the service offered to all Estonian regional airports, creating similar procedures and airspaces,” said Teve Rahula, Head of Business Development Department of Estonian Air Navigation Services. “With this solution, Estonian air traffic controllers can offer their services to other countries as well. The aviation industry has changed a lot in recent years and the competitive landscape for air traffic controllers has intensified. This new technology provides us with an international competitive edge, opening up a commercially important and exciting future perspective," she added.
The solution has been developed in cooperation with Estonian Air Navigation Services and Cybernetica AS. The work started in 2016 and 45 experts have contributed to its development. Recently, Cybernetica AS’ remote tower technology has been acquired by Adacel Technologies Ltd, an Australian company with extensive experience in developing air traffic management solutions. Adacel plans to evolve and take this Estonian technology global.
“The remote tower system has been built based on open architecture principles, suitable for integration with existing or new air traffic management, communication, navigation, and surveillance systems. This versatile solution can be used by different airports and air traffic controllers all over the world, presenting immense opportunities for everyone. We look forward to continuing to advance safety and efficiency in aviation with this new technology,” said Daniel Verret, CEO of Adacel.