Remote Air Traffic Control Technology Introduced at Leesburg Airport

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Remote Air Traffic Control Technology Introduced at Leesburg Airport

remote.jpg
photo via Yahoo News

Leesburg Executive Airport unveiled remote air traffic control technology for the first time in the U.S. Monday.

The new technology replaces the need for multiple controller towers with just one, acting like a crow’s next with 14 cameras transmitting 360-degree HD video to 14 monitors inside.

The actual air traffic control duties are performed as normal, so the technology does not reduce the need for controllers. It does, however, reduce the need for more brick-and-mortar towers, saving money and allowing cash-strapped facilities to take on more traffic.

The creator of the system is Saab Sensis Corp. They have partnered with the FAA, the NATCA and the town of Leesburg to test the system and its impact on visibility for controllers.

If the FAA approves the technology, it could be used at airports around the U.S.
 

N603NH

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Apr 11, 2015
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They're doing the same thing at Ft. Colins-Loveland airport in Colorado. Will be implemented in the spring.
 

ajmezz

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Apr 8, 2010
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They've been using these in Europe for very remote airports for quite a while. It will be interesting to see how it all pans out in the future.
 

atcbrownie

Trusted Contributor
Jun 14, 2008
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Warrenton Va
leesburg (jyo) is currently an uncontrolled airport. The airport is located 7 miles nw of IAD. My guess is that if there is an outage that the airport will simply return to an uncontrolled airport just like it always has been. From my understanding the remote tower will only initially be used to determine down times on IFR so that we dont have to wait for a cancellation of IFR before conducting the next approach or departure.
 

planetalkerkp

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Jun 15, 2008
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Same thing that happens when the frequencies fail, you lose bright/stars, and visibility is 0.
Can you also work the light guns remotely, STARS is just an eye extender so that loss is no big deal, and how often does the visibility go from VFR to 0 instantaneously? Seriously, what happens if you have 2 or 3 guys in the pattern and one on approach and the camera goes out or you lose comms?
 

ajmezz

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Apr 8, 2010
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Cameras go out you just make the announcement to use uncontrolled proc's. Comm's go out.. Well.. Shit.
 

atcbrownie

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Jun 14, 2008
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Warrenton Va
Again this is not meant to replace current towered airports just to improve services at current uncontrolled airports. Leesburg is uncontrolled.
 

ajmezz

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Apr 8, 2010
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Pretty crazy they're uncontrolled with the amount of traffic it shows they have.
 

68dart

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Jun 15, 2008
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My manager was just told this morning by an FAA honcho of some sort that our airport could buy into the remote program for a third the cost of a new tower ( which we desperately need, but can't seem to get funded... 14 years of empty promises). I've been war-gaming the ways that this gee-whiz technology can cause a mid-air or a crash. The possibilities seem endless.
 

Dave Craine

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Oct 7, 2018
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The JYO project is in dire straits now due to piss poor FAA management and “labor strife.” The proverbial shit is about to hit the fan.