The Channel Islands’ Jersey Airport has been approved for operational use of a remote control tower system developed by Frequentis. The remote tower is a “contingency” facility for times when the airport’s control tower is unavailable, such as an emergency situation or security issue.
The approval follows trials conducted last November, during which traffic levels of 32 movements per hour were achieved. This marks the first EASA approval for a remote tower to be used for active control of commercial aircraft movements at a British airport, according to Frequentis.
At Jersey Airport, 13 cameras provide a 240-degree field of view for remotely located controllers in a nearby contingency facility. Systems Interface Ltd. was the project specialist and managed the installation and integration using Frequentis’s remote tower technology.
Traffic at Jersey Airport averages 23,000 air transport movements per year and another 22,000 business and general aviation flights. The airport is the fifth-busiest business and general aviation airport in Britain.
Frequentis has developed three other remote tower systems that are in operational use, according to a company spokeswoman. These include “Austria’s Vienna airport for vision enhancement, a system in Iceland testing remote tower abilities in extreme weather, and the most significant at Germany’s Saarbrucken airport, which is providing tower services from an actual remote location 450 km away (this is also currently the largest operational remote tower, managing 15,000 flight movements per year).”
The reason for bolstering Jersey Airport’s tower with the contingency remote tower is so that operations at Jersey can continue during an emergency affecting the tower. “Jersey Airport is a critical part of the regional transport infrastructure,” according to Frequentis, “and therefore its continuous air traffic services are essential, especially in the event of a technical failure or evacuation.”