Page 26 - ATC Special Bulletin Series - Remote and Digital Towers 2023-01
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 WHY DOESN’T FAA’S NEW WHY DOESN’T FAA’S NEW CONTROL TOWER PLAN CONTROL TOWER PLAN INCLUDE REMOTE/DIGITAL INCLUDE REMOTE/DIGITAL TOWERS? TOWERS? By Robert W. Poole, Jr., Searle Freedom Trust Transportation Fellow and Director of Transportation Policy, Aviation Policy News Jan 2023 26 The winter issue of Managing the Skies, the magazine of the FAA Managers Association, includes a lengthy article on the extra money Congress allocated to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) via the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (also often referred to as the bipartisan infrastructure law). One section of the article, “Building a New Generation of Towers,” describes FAA’s plan to replace 30 smaller control towers by 2030. It discusses the agency’s recently launched Sustainable Tower Design Initiative intended to “tap innovative minds in private industry and academia...for new approaches both to design and to rapid construction.” The article recounts an early 1960s effort that tapped major architectural firms to develop ever-grander monuments. Alas, there is not a word in this article about remote/digital towers, and this concept is also absent from FAA’s description of the program. Remote/digital towers are certified and in operation in half a dozen European countries. They dispense with towering buildings in favor of using an array of cameras and other sensors at various locations at an airport to feed panoramic displays in a control room either on the surface or securely underground. | SPECIAL BULLETIN SERIES | 2023 |  | © Matthew G. Bisanz 

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