DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung has completed onsite testing of the Frequentis’ remote tower solution for Saarbrücken Airport.

Following testing of the remote virtual tower (RVT) solution, control services are planned to be performed from the remote tower centre located in Leipzig, 400km away.

Developed by Frequentis, the solution comprises high-performance infrared and visual cameras, a newly designed controller working position in the remote tower centre, and a secure network connection for safe communications.

Every year, Saarbrücken Airport has about 15,000 aircraft movements.

In October last year, DFS carried out a two-week testing period of the solution, which included formal test verifications and tests of a multi-day flight programme in different weather conditions.

“The latest phase of testing at Saarbrücken Airport will permit the launch of live operations by the end of this year.”

Image quality, automatic object detection abilities, and camera tracking were tested by several air traffic controllers during the day and at night.

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Since 2015, DFS and Frequentis have been working on the implementation of a remote tower concept with plans for a remote tower centre at Leipzig Airport, Germany.

Going forward, the centre will provide aerodrome control services for the international airports of Saarbrücken, Erfurt and Dresden.

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

“Thanks to the commitment and motivation of the DFS and Frequentis smartVISION teams, we have been able to successfully verify the quality and functionality of this forward-thinking, innovative solution. We are now ready to take the next steps with the airports in Erfurt and Dresden.”

The latest phase of testing at Saarbrücken Airport will permit the launch of live operations by the end of this year, following approval from the German Federal Supervisory Authority for Air Navigation Services (BAF).