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Remote Tower

Control several airports from one location

The future of being present
Anna Avsitidisky
Senior Marketing Communications Professional
+1 315 445 5734

When cost-effectiveness puts high demands on airport operations, Saab's Remote Tower concept could be exactly what small and medium-sized airports need in order to be competitive.

The concept aims at remotely controlling several airports from a single Remote Tower Centre.


Reduced costs 
– with maintained safety and punctuality

The Remote Tower concept enables a more effective staffing for aerodrome control service and heavily reduces the costs related to refurbishment of control towers.

Enhanced situational awareness 
– even in low visibility conditions

New features such as object tracking and alerting, infra-red vision and image enhancement, are introduced in this new digital environment and will enhance the controller’s situational awareness.


Being a Saab Remote Tower customer will give you access to our operational experience within the ATM area. You will be able to have future technologies- available for use today.

By working with Saab, we can help to make local adjustments and develop confidence together with your operational staff.

Do not hesitate. Begin the change process for truly competitive operations today!


The technical solution enables an airport tower to be remotely operated via the digital network. Compressed data from cameras at the airport provides a 360-degree real-time view of the airport at the Remote Tower Centre. The controller working position is equipped with the same controls as in a normal tower.

Cost savings

The cost of running small and medium-sized airports consists largely of personnel costs. With the Remote Tower concept, fewer employees are needed to provide aerodrome control service, enabling airports that currently offer only Aerodrome Flight Information Service (AFIS) to offer a control service as well.

In a secondary phase, one controller could potentially provide aerodrome control service for two to three towers simultaneously. Apart from staffing, costs savings can be achieved through not having to replace existing towers that have reached the end of their economically viable service life.

Enhanced safety and punctuality

In low visibility, the controller in a regular tower may not be able to see traffic at all. This can have an impact on safety and result in delays. Visibility enhancement technology in the Remote Tower concept helps the controller to see what is going on in the aerodrome area in low-visibility conditions.

Low-visibility procedures, often causing delays, will be required less frequently and punctuality will improve. Overlay of labels, MET info and a digital image enhancement will improve the information available to the controller. Increasing the controller’s situational awareness will lead to improved safety. Recording of the camera generated view allows play-back of traffic situations, useful for investigating incidents, further enhancing the concept’s safety benefits.  

Remote Tower is perfectly suited for contingency at medium and large sized airports.


The Remote Tower concept is perfectly suited for contingency at medium and large-sized airports. It offers a more cost-efficient solution than a contingency tower, with the freedom to place the control anywhere at the airport.

Survival or demise?

The Remote Tower is a breakthrough for airport operators and could be exactly what small and medium-sized airports need in order to survive. The long-term benefits of this concept are the reduced costs related to the construction and maintenance of airport control towers, as well as more efficient staffing of air-traffic services (ATS).

In use

Saab is world leading in Remote Towers. We have a number of years’ experience in this area and have developed a technical solution for operating several airports from a single Remote Tower Centre.

Demonstration Platform at Malmö Airport

In 2006, Saab and the Swedish ANSP, LFV, engaged in a project named Remotely Operated Tower (ROT). The aim of the project was to prove the concept of remotely performing air traffic services. Ängelholm airport was chosen as the target airport. The Remote Tower Centre (RTC) was located at Malmö airport, approximately 100km away.

The ROT trials where successfully concluded at the beginning of 2009. During the final month of the trials, air traffic controllers validated the platform in advanced shadow mode trials. The project was awarded the Jane's Airport Review Industry Award during the ATC Global 2010 exhibition in Amsterdam.

MoU with Airservices Australia

Airservices Australia (ASA) intends to conduct remotely-operated air traffic control trials. Saab signed an MoU with ASA for the delivery and support of a Remote Tower solution in March 2010.

Selected for first Remote Tower pilot delivery

Saab has been selected to deliver the first Remote Tower pilot facility to the Swedish ANSP LFV. The facility will include a Remote Control Centre and two connected airports in northern Sweden. The objective for the pilot facility is to move into operational use in the near future.

Technical specification

Medium airport - remote ATC

Medium airport - remote ATC


High resolution digital cameras
Pan-Tilt camera with zoom capabilities, PTZ
Video encoding
Signal light gun
Metrological sensors
Integrated tower systems (lights, navigational aids, distress alarms etc.)

Large airport with tower- backup ATC

Large airport with tower - backup ATC


Up to 360 degrees of live LCD or projected airfield image
Airfield stereo sound
Pan-Tilt-Zoom camera and signal light gun controls
Automatic Weather Observation System (AWOS)
Integrated tower systems control
Remote Control Monitoring system, RCMS (Airport lights, ILS, NDB, VOR, VHF/UHF, Communication)
Flight Data Processing system, FDP
Radar Data Processing and Display system, RDP
Electronic Flight Progress Strip system, e-Strip
Record and Replay System for video, audio and flight information
System redundancy

Small airport - on demand ATC

Small airport - on demand ATC


Real-time object tracking
Radar and video sensor fusion
Labels for moving objects
Geographical overlay during low visibility
Image enhancement
Zoom camera target tracking
Zoom camera image incorporated into airfield view
Visual gap filter

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