For areas with more than one ‘small’ airfield within close proximity of each other, a Digital Tower in Tower digital solution may be the answer.
The air traffic controller uses a personal video screen displaying live images from the secondary airfield to manage movements, whilst they and their colleagues can still look out of the window to control as normal at the primary airport.
This Digital Tower in Tower solution is partially deployed at Miquelon and Saint-Pierre airports with DSNA.
The main challenge here was the lack of resources in Miquelon to maintain the Aerodrome Flight Information Service already being provided.
Air traffic control in France has been undergoing a major project to modernise ATM systems and tools in order to meet three core challenges:
- Large geographic distances associated with overseas territories.
- Different expectations and operating approaches of various international airspace user groups.
- Regional partnerships with international organizations that are required to develop and implement innovative new approaches.
French ANSP, DSNA, selected the Searidge Remote Tower platform to take live video from Miquelon airport – very low volume, single runway – and present it 50 miles away to controllers at Saint-Pierre airport.
It’s a neat solution for very small airports with few movements, ensuring that they can still provide a full ATC service but without a controller being deployed to a physical tower location when required or sat full-time in a tower with otherwise little to do.
The Searidge Remote Tower platform features an advanced human machine interface (HMI), completely customized to DSNA’s requirements. High-definition day/night visible, thermal, and pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras will be installed at Miquelon to display real-time information to air traffic controllers at Saint-Pierre.
Video images from distributed cameras are stitched together and run through sophisticated algorithms to offer a seamless panoramic view of the surface and approach path, presented on 4K-resolution displays that feature touch screen zoom in/out options.
Controllers can utilise extra tools such as Custom Runway Overlay for increased situational awareness, Approach Monitoring, Pan-Tilt-Zoom functions, Seamless Stitching to replicate an “out the window” view.
Grouping multiple airport operations from a single location offers economies of scale and greater resource flexibility.