British air navigation service provider NATS has signed an agreement with its Hungarian counterpart HungaroControl to cooperate on digital tower projects worldwide.

Under the terms of the latest framework agreement, the two air navigation service providers will collaborate for the development and application of digital tower technology.

“Between NATS, HungaroControl and Searidge Technologies, I believe we can offer airports around the world unrivalled expertise.”

HungaroControl announced last year that Budapest Airport would become the first medium-capacity airport in the world where its traffic controllers managed air traffic from a digital tower.

The proposal has secured regulatory certification and HungaroControl is now planning to move to a full-time ‘digital’ operation by 2020.

NATS also established its first remote digital tower facility at London City Airport last year within its Swanwick control centre.

The company also became a joint shareholder in digital tower solutions developer Searidge Technologies.

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NATS Customer Solutions head Andy Taylor said: “Between NATS, HungaroControl and Searidge Technologies, I believe we can offer airports around the world unrivalled expertise in the development, transition and deployment of digital towers, from safety assurance and training right through to certification and live operational experience.”

HungaroControl business development director Attila Simon: “We are delighted to join NATS in this collaboration, and particularly with our first joint focus, at Changi Airport, on what will be the biggest deployment of digital tower technology anywhere in the world to date.”

Changi Airport is set to become the first passenger hub to benefit from the latest agreement.

In November last year, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore selected NATS to manage a team, which includes HungaroControl and Searidge, to develop a digital smart tower prototype for Changi.