ATM Modernization, Business & GA

Working Remotely: Saab, VSATS to Demonstrate Remote ATC Tower Technology at Leesburg Airport

By Juliet Van Wagenen | October 3, 2014
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A remote ATC tower
Saab and VSATS will demonstrate Remote ATC Tower technology at the Leesburg Executive Airport in Virginia. Photo: Saab

[Avionics Today 10-03-2014]  The Virginia SATSLab (VSATS), defense and security company Saab and the Leesburg Executive Airport are partnering to demonstrate and evaluate Saab remote tower technologies throughout the summer of 2015. The partnership will demonstrate and evaluate the remote tower system for use at airports that are not currently served by an Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower, of which the General Aviation (GA) Leesburg, Va. airport is one. Pilots currently rely on CTAF to announce position within the Leesburg (JYO) traffic pattern.

For the demonstration, the partnership will deploy a number of Saab technologies at the airport such as high definition video cameras, a Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) camera, a Signal Light Gun (SLG) and microphones that will provide data directly to a Remote Tower Center (RTC) also located at the airport. The RTC will have multiple displays and two controller working positions with command of voice communications, the cameras and the SLG. Data will be collected from the RTC, along with data from a Mobile Air Traffic Control Tower (MATCT) that will be deployed at the same time to ensure safety and provide a data comparison.

"Pilots will receive non-radar tower services from a trained FAA-certified controller, ensuring safe and efficient operations during the demonstration," Dennis B. Boykin IV, chairman of the Leesburg Executive Airport Commission assured.

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