Jersey Airport, part of Ports of Jersey, has secured approval for the operational use of digital remote tower technology to control commercial aircraft movements.

The approval comes after the completion of a comprehensive testing period throughout last year, which included training for all air traffic controllers.

Following this, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) Competent Authority for Jersey endorsed the operation.

Jersey Airport currently handles around 23,000 commercial air transport movements a year.

During operational trials carried out in November last year, the airport achieved traffic levels of 32 movements per hour using the remote tower.

The Frequentis technology has been designed to safely manage air traffic for Jersey Airport from a contingency operations centre.

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It provides seamless air traffic control (ATC) services if the air traffic control tower is unavailable for any reason.

By using a network of 13 cameras, the technology can create a 240° field-of-view of Jersey Airport. This will be then displayed at the remote tower working position in the nearby contingency facility.

The remote digital tower implementation will be overseen and reviewed directly by EASA.

Ports of Jersey senior air traffic control officer Les Smallwood said: “We have worked collaboratively with both Frequentis and Systems Interface to ensure the successful delivery of Jersey Airport’s remote tower project.

“In addition, this involved working closely alongside EASA to ensure the provision of all regulatory and training requirements, including approved conversion training, featuring human factors analysis, human-machine interface (HMI) and 3D simulator training.

“This was all achieved prior to shadowing and live training, and as a result, we’re extremely pleased with the contingency remote digital tower and have achieved a movement rate of 32 aircraft per hour during operational trials.”

Ports of Jersey and Systems Interface performed the implementation of the remote tower technology, while SIL managed all systems integration and installation and provided end-to-end project management.