Mobile Tower To Support Remote Tower Tests at Leesburg

 - October 4, 2016, 11:25 AM
Beginning October 11, a mobile manned control tower will handle air traffic operating at Virginia's Leesburg Executive Airport for about four weeks, as contractor Saab Sensis and the FAA continue to demonstrate remote tower technology there. (Photo: Saab Sensis)

Air traffic operating at Leesburg Executive Airport (JYO) in Virginia will be handled by a manned mobile air traffic control tower for about four weeks, beginning October 11, as contractor Saab Sensis and the FAA continue to demonstrate the remote tower there, according to NBAA and AOPA. The mobile tower is expected to operate from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through November 5 and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. from November 6 to 10. 

Saab Sensis, the FAA and the Virginia SATSLab are demonstrating the safety and viability of remote tower systems for non-towered airports. The system uses a series of technologies, including high-definition cameras, signal light gun and microphones, to provide data directly to a remote tower center staffed by live controllers.

The manned mobile tower, which will be based on the ramp will work directly with aircraft operators. The controllers in the mobile tower will run tests, assisting in gathering data for the remote tower. The remote tower will continue to gather data in a “passive mode,” NBAA said.

NBAA and AOPA recommended that pilots planning to operate at the airport check notams for changes in operational procedures while the temporary mobile tower is in use.