Saarbrücken Airport completes on-site testing for remote tower solution

The German air navigation service provider, DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung, has completed on-site testing of the Frequentis Remote Virtual Tower (RVT) solution for Saarbücken Airport, a hub for regional carriers in Germany.

The two-week testing phase took place in October 2017, with a number of air traffic controllers testing the image quality and performance of automatic object detection and camera tracking solutions, during the day and night, and in various weather conditions.

“Remotely controlled towers are a hot topic in air traffic management – both the concept of providing aerodrome control service from any location and the ability to control several airports from a centralised location,” said Robert Schickling, managing director operations at DFS.

“This solution promises significant cost savings and increased efficiency while utilising advanced technologies that provide an enhanced view of the airfield in all weather conditions,” he continued, before adding: “We are now ready to take the next steps with the airports in Erfurt and Dresden.”

DFS and Frequentis have been working on the implementation of a remote tower concept since 2015, with control services to be carried out from the Remote Tower Centre at Leipzig Airport in Germany, 400 km away from Saarbrücken.

“Saarbrücken will be an important reference in the Remote Tower market,” said Hannu Juurakko, vice-president ATM, Frequentis AG. “We will be the first manufacturer to provide remote tower ATC services at a complex, medium-sized airport. The planned additions of Erfurt and Dresden airports, to come under remote control from Leipzig, demonstrate the confidence DFS has in our solution and the expansion of it.”

Consisting of high-performance infrared and visual cameras, a newly designed controller working position in the Remote Tower Centre in Leipzig and a secure, high-speed network connection, Frequentis’s solution has proved an important milestone on the way towards the go-live of the RVT solution.

Images: © Matthias Becker

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