Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Future Air Traffic Controllers Could Work In Virtual Towers Nowhere Near The Airport

Air traffic controllers have long worked far above the ground, in towers built to give them a clear view of the airport around them. Like so much of the aviation industry, that setup may fundamentally change, thanks to new technology.

Saab Sensis, an air defense and air traffic control corporation, wants to separate the controllers from the airports.

The Remote Tower premise is straightforward: Cameras and sensors relay images and information from the airport to an off-site controller in just .3 seconds.

It is cost-effective. Tall structures supporting offices and human beings are replaced by what look like water towers, loaded with cameras and sensors. A single controller could efficiently manage multiple small airports, reducing the need for personnel at each one.

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