The FAA this month is kicking off the next phase of its remote tower program at Leesburg Executive Airport (JYO) in Virginia. Phase 3a of the program is set to begin June 25 and run from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. for about 30 days, NBAA reported to its members.
The FAA is working with the Virginia Small Aircraft Transportation System Laboratory on the pilot project, which involves a mobile ATC tower at JYO and Saab Sensis technology to test the remote tower concept. Remote towers use high-definition cameras and sensors that enable controllers in a remote location to track and manage traffic at non-towered airports.
Costs of managing such facilities are significantly less than a full tower, Heidi Williams, NBAA director of air traffic services and infrastructure told members, saying this could open the door for air traffic services at airports unable to afford full standalone towers.
During the pilot program, pilots flying both VFR and IFR operations at the airport will be required to contact the tower, and Williams advises pilots to continue to follow the requirements of the JYO Maneuvering Area as outlined in the special flight rules area NOTAM.