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HungaroControl: implementation of the Hungarian virtual tower has begun

7 March 2015

HungaroControl has just launched its "virtual" tower implementation project (Remote Tower, rTWR), which will enable providing location independent aerodrome control service. According to the contract that was signed by the managements of the Hungarian air navigation service provider (ANSP) and INDRA Navia AS, a complete Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control System (A-SMGCS) will be set up by INDRA Navia AS until March 2016 to implement a remote tower at Budapest. The integrated radar and camera system will be provided by the Norwegian company and the Canadian SeaRidge Technologies as subcontractor as part of the 4.9 million dollars agreement.

According to forecasts, the number of flights over Europe might reach 16.9 million by 2030. Air navigation systems have to keep up with the enormously growing traffic and with its inherent safety and capacity challenges. HungaroControl's concept of the virtual tower (rTWR) enables the fulfillment of airport control services at medium or large sized airports. By 2017, departing and arriving traffic of Budapest Airport (BUD) may already be navigated by Hungarian air traffic control officers (ATCO) from a "virtual" tower.

According to the contract, INDRA Navia AS shall install a complete Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control System (A-SMGCS), which is required to implement the concept of rTWR at Budapest. The Norwegian company will also set up a camera system provided by SeaRidge Technologies from Canada, a video wall and further equipment. The visualization of the aprons and both runways of Budapest Airport, as well as the flight information coming from A-SMGCS on the video wall will be tailored to meet the ATCOs' needs.

"Next year we will also demonstrate our rTWR infrastructure on live traffic as part of a SESAR Large Scale Demonstration (Budapest 2.0) project. By achieving this, HungaroControl will be the first in the world to test and demonstrate air traffic control from a remote tower at an airport the size of Budapest Airport," – said Mr. Kornél Szepessy, CEO of HungaroControl.

In the last five years, there have been numerous improvements and significant investments in the remote tower industry. The implementation of the Hungarian concept is based on the duplication of the current air traffic management systems and navigation procedures, which will provide safe air navigation services of appropriate capacity on the long term. HungaroControl's concept fully exploits the opportunities of modern technologies: including the use of infrared cameras in order to further extend its technical infrastructure.

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