Page 54 - ATC Special Bulletin Series - Remote and Digital Towers 2023-01
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54 RTC airports worldwide and is still one of the largest operating in regular RTC operations, based on both flight movements and passenger numbers. Since then, air traffic controllers have handled more than 36,000 flights safely, and 600,000 passengers have been transported to destinations in Europe, ranging from Tenerife on the Canary Islands to Antalya in Turkey, and further abroad to Egypt. In April 2022, DFS successfully integrated the second international airport, Erfurt Weimar, located 100 km southwest of Leipzig. With this addition, twenty-one air traffic controllers, who will be cross-trained for both airports, work at the RTC Centre. Currently, DFS is currently working on adding Dresden, which is the busiest airport of the three so far (27,500 flight movements in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic hit). It is planned to be integrated by the end of 2024. By then, about thirty air traffic controllers will be working from Leipzig. These additions will enable DFS to profit from the full potential of RTC and increase efficiency. Technology as distinguishing feature Technologically, the conventional tower control position is complemented by a 360-degree out-of-the-window view based on high-definition video and infrared cameras. The system can automatically detect movements and highlight up to 256 objects in parallel. Complementary pan-tilt-zoom cameras can track objects. High-performance sensors enable safe and efficient operations in both good and adverse meteorological conditions. The overall concept of infrared and colour sensor technology, with the associated functions of automatic object tracking and recognition, is the distinguishing feature. More remote tower operations on the way Apart from the RTC Centre in Leipzig, DFS has started a feasibility assessment to determine whether Munich Airport can replace its conventional tower with a digital solution. The international hub had more than 400,000 movements per year before the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the DFS subsidiary DFS Aviation Services is establishing an RTC Centre for regional airports in Braunschweig. From here, Braunschweig Wolfsburg Airport and Emden Airfield with its AFIS services will be controlled, which is a first in Germany. It is planned to be operational by mid-2024. More airports are to be integrated in the future to adopt a multi-remote approach and further reduce costs. The concept will be optimised as part of a research partnership with the Institute of Flight Guidance at the German Aerospace Center (DLR). | SPECIAL BULLETIN SERIES | 2023 | | 

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