AIN Online - David Hughes

Remote tower technology is reaching maturity and going operational in Europe, Asia, and Canada. But in the U.S., one of two such projects is being shut down by the FAA and the other has received a stop-work order.

European suppliers and one in Canada have dozens of remote and digital tower projects under development or in operation at airports of various sizes in Europe and Asia. Even projects at large airports are moving ahead, including experimentation at London Heathrow (EGLL) in shadow mode with nearly 475,000 movements per year.

Nav Canada has a couple of operational systems and has a tender out for bids to construct multiple remote tower (RT) centers to serve airports in various regions.

At the same time, though, the FAA is shutting down one of its two RT projects—at Leesburg Executive Airport (KJYO)—after the vendor Saab pulled out.

And, in November 2022, the FAA placed a stop-work order on the other one, at Colorado Northern Regional Airport (KFNL), which is supplied by Searidge Technologies of Ottawa, Canada.

The FAA gave Searidge six months to make modifications, including improving visual acuity. In early March, Searidge demonstrated a few 4K cameras at KFNL showing improved performance over existing 1090 HD cameras.

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