Virtual air traffic control tower on Channel Island makes British Isles first
As remote ATC starts building momentum, tech firm Frequentis help the Jersey Airport become the first in the British Isles to set up a remote virtual tower.
REMOTE TOWER: Jersey's Mont Orgueil Castle at night
In a step to improve resilience and business continuity, Ports of Jersey, which runs the Jersey Airport, and its technology partner Systems Interface have asked Frequentis to supply a Virtual Tower for contingency operations, using remote technology based on its smartVision product.
Jersey Airport is a critical part of the regional transport infrastructure and continuous air traffic services are paramount, especially in the event of a technical failure or evacuation.
The solution is designed to safely manage air traffic for Jersey airport from an operations centre, providing seamless ATC services at any time.
A high-resolution panorama view based on stitched images from 11 high-definition cameras and a redundant pan-tilt-zoom camera provides the controller with a continuous airport overview and situational awareness, both during regular operations as a smart binocular and in the contingency centre.
“Ports of Jersey has been investigating the application of Remote Tower technology for a number of years. We made the investment decision to proceed with a Remote Tower for Jersey Airport as a contingency to manned VCR, and then develop the technology and business processes further from a live site.
“Ports of Jersey is very pleased to have joined with Frequentis for the delivery of this solution, and have been impressed with their technology and proactive approach” said Les Smallwood, Senior Air Traffic Control Officer from Ports of Jersey.
The Frequentis Remote Virtual Tower solution provides an end-to-end approach for tower ATC: the complete information and data chain is facilitated through products from Frequentis, and strategic partners Systems Interface Limited (SIL) manages all system integration and installation, project management, Safety Case, extensive HF study and project deliveries for this complex project.
“Frequentis is committed to providing customers with the best Remote Virtual Tower solution in order to facilitate improved efficiency along with enhanced safety. We are extremely pleased be supporting Ports of Jersey in their goal for streamlined air traffic services. They will have the most innovative remote tower technology in the region.”, says Hannu Juurakko, Vice President ATM at Frequentis.
The modular and flexible concept allows the system to expand as the customer situation changes over time, provide remote ATC operations from a central location and be ready to accommodate future airports. Frequentis and Rheinmetall Electronics have jointly developed the remote tower technologies to address the needs of different concepts of operations in a safety-critical environment, including object detection and tracking, and infrared camera capabilities for bad weather conditions.