The U.S. FAA has tapped Canada-based Searidge Technologies to install, test and certify a remote tower system (RTS) at the Northern Colorado Regional Airport (FNL), a busy general aviation field in Loveland, Colorado. Searidge specializes in airport surface management using new technology.
FNL was chosen as the test facility in part because of its traffic volume and the wide mix of aircraft types operating at the airport. This project will be the first in the world to integrate both video and track-based surveillance (radar) to provide a comprehensive view of the airport surface and Class D airspace to air traffic controllers working in a remote facility.
The remote tower system project is a collaboration among the FAA, Northern Colorado Regional Airport and the Colorado Division of Aeronautics. From 2010 to 2013, the Colorado Division of Aeronautics worked with the FAA on the Colorado mountain radar project, which deployed wide-area multilateration and ADS-B surveillance technologies to provide enhanced surveillance in areas of the Colorado mountains previously without radar coverage. Lessons learned from that project ultimately led to the development of the remote tower concept.
Remote tower equipment is expected to be installed at FNL in the fall, with passive testing slated to start next summer and active testing to begin next fall and conclude in spring 2019.