All contracts signed now, so in 2-3 years 15 airport towers in Norway will be remotely controlled (including the two on an R&D basis today).
They will all be remotely controlled from a “tower central” in Bodø. For GA it means tower services 24/7 on all this airports. It’s very limited opening hours today due to limited traffic. That’s the theory, at least. How it actually becomes in practice remains to be seen. GA can use these airports outside opening hours today also, but only day VFR.
This is great news. I hope other countries are watching.
Kongsberg was a big customer of mine in the 1980s
I could program a remote German Flugleiter (AFIS). On every radio transmission it would respond with either “watch for traffic in the pattern” or “landing at own discretion”, chosen by random. I guess a lot of money could be made!
This is very real and will be implemented in many places in the very near future. DFS here in Germany have conducted their first successful tests about a year ago. Saarbrücken (EDDR) is scheduled to be fully remotely operated later this year. http://www.ihsairport360.com/article/8194/dfs-tests-first-remote-tower-services-successfully
If it allows more airports to have IR services and after hours capability in “are-you-crazy-we-can’t-allow-IFR-flight-without-a-tower” obsessed Europe, then I’m all for it.
Adam, we´re presently talking about airfields with less than 10.000 IFR-movements a year, less than 50 on the busiest day. No matter how you let controllers do their stuff on such a field, it will not be a profitable business.
The only way I can imagine this investment to be profitable (i.e. being cheaper to operate than an on-site TWR in the long run) is one controller working multiple airports simultaneously. Wonder if DFS or any other ANSP is planning on doing this?