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April 13, 2016

Singapore CAAS seeks to introduce remote tower technology at Changi airport

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) aims to introduce remote air traffic control (ATC) tower technology at Changi Airport.

By Lopamudra Roy

aerial

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) aims to introduce remote air traffic control (ATC) tower technology at Changi Airport.

The move is part of CAAS’s plans to develop Singapore as a ‘Centre of Excellence’ for air traffic management (ATM) meeting the needs of the country and the Asia Pacific region.

Under the Centre of Excellence for ATM Initiative, the CAAS and MITRE Asia Pacific Singapore (MAPS) began developing a remote tower concept for the Southeast Asian airport in October 2014.

The remote ATC tower at Changi will act as a back-up and support the operations of the main control tower.

Several air navigation service providers (ANSPs) are deploying remote ATC tower operations in a bid to reduce operation costs, particularly at airports with low or medium air traffic volumes.

The remote ATC tower technology also allows the ANSPs to avoid service interruption during occurrences that might affect the availability of the main control tower.

"CAAS assesses that remote tower technology is fast maturing and suitable for airports with high-intensity runway operations, such as Changi Airport."

Singapore Ministry of Transport (MOT) in a statement said: "CAAS assesses that remote tower technology is fast maturing and suitable for airports with high-intensity runway operations, such as Changi Airport."

MOT further added: "The project will determine the concept of operation and business case for a remote tower facility for Changi East (where Runway 3 and Terminal 5 will be located), identify the risks and mitigating measures, and develop approaches for active engagement of stakeholders."

Two facilities for air traffic management research and development (R&D) at the airport have already been established

The first is an Air Traffic Management Research Institute to conduct academic-based R&D, while the second is a collaboration between CAAS and MAPS.


Image: The remote ATC tower at Changi airport will serve as a back-up to the actual control tower. Photo: courtesy of Pulkitsangal.

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