Airservices Australia will test remote digital control tower technology next year after signing a contract with Searidge Technologies this week.
Digital tower technology enables runways to be controlled from remote locations rather than the on-site tower.
Searidge will initially provide a prototype contingency system for Sydney International Airport.
“Digital Aerodrome Services will allow us to optimise our future service delivery and improve safety outcomes for the industry and travelling public,” Airservices Executive General Manager of Air Navigation Services Peter Curran said.
“It also means we can support greater resilience at our major airports and be responsive to service level requirements.”
The SYD prototype will showcase the Ultra High Definition (UHD) views of the main operating areas and create a facility for controllers and the regulator to experience the extensive benefits and features of a digital tower, including its use for contingency operations.
Digital tower technology also has potential to replace existing control towers at smaller airports, with systems already operational in Sweden, Hungary, and the United Kingdom. In April 2018, Airways New Zealand announced that the 52-year-old Invercargill tower would be replaced with digital technology.
“We are pleased to partner with Airservices Australia and are looking forward to sharing our knowledge and showcasing our technology to demonstrate digital towers as an agile and flexible method of delivering aerodrome services to support their long term growth, safety and asset management plans,” CEO of Searidge Technologies Moodie Cheikh said.
Airservices Australia says it is introducing digital air traffic control towers to help ATCs enhance service delivery and improve safety for industry and the travelling public.
Trials are being conducted this and next financial year to determine the technology’s suitability.