Discover the major trends and technological transformations and the related impact on current professional roles
New operations in single or multiple remote towers
Over the next 10 years, the European ATM system is expected to face challenging situations, with the increase of air traffic complexity, the introduction of digital environments and new technologies. The idea behind the concept of remotely-controlled single or multiple airports is to provide small and medium sized airports with more cost-efficient tailored air traffic services through augmented multimodal solutions. The concept relies on cost-efficient optical camera sensors with video images directly relayed to a facility which could be situated anywhere. Images will no longer be provided by direct out-of-the-window view but will be projected on panoramic screens in remote facilities in order to enable providing Air Traffic Services.
Keywords: Remote Towers, Augmented solutions, New Working Scenario
Augmented multimodal sensorial solutions and new human-system interaction concepts will support remote tower ATCOs in managing remote tower operations. This may add some complexity.
With access to a range of new visual and audio data such as augmented reality displays, high-definition cameras, panoramic displays of remote aerodrome, virtual reality headsets, multimodal interfaces, and automatic tracking, the ATCOs will be able to monitor activities such as runway occupancy, weather, and visibility in real time.
Impact on the role of Tower ATCO
With the transition to the new Air Traffic Management model, the work of ATCOs will partially change. They will have to adapt to the new working environment, and to the new technologies and skills these require. They also will need to adapt to a possible different workload and situational awareness demands type, considering that they will provide services to at least two airports.
In addition to training in the use of new tools, ATCOs will need to train on maintaining correct Situational Awareness to prevent mistakes caused by confusion in switching back and forth between different towers.