LFV and Örnsköldsvik Airport are developing the airports of the future

1 February 2019

A new international testing and demonstration centre for remotely controlled and autonomous airports is being established at Örnsköldsvik Airport. The centre will serve as a forum for actors in the aviation business and stakeholders from industry, academia, regulatory authorities, and the region.

Örnsköldsvik Airport is the world’s first airport with remote air traffic control. Since April 2015 air traffic to and from the airport is controlled from LFV’s remote tower in Sundsvall. Now LFV and Örnsköldsvik Airport are taking their collaboration further to develop automation and digitisation, focusing on safety, efficiency and sustainability.

“This is a very positive development – we are currently at the cutting edge of remote tower services and innovation here in Örnsköldsvik. A centre for testing new types of automated services, with many stakeholders collaborating, is also a testament to the attractiveness of our region and our know-how when it comes to the potential of digitisation,” says Robert Gyllroth, CEO of the airport.

“The testing centre now being established, and which VINNOVA is involved in supporting, will offer unique opportunities for research and demonstrations of new concepts – at a working airport and in real time,” says Gunnar Olsson at LFV’s Research and Innovation department.

The value of validating solutions in realistic settings is considerable. It improves the quality of the research and provides a better basis for decisions on future investments.

Since the spring of 2018 a research project, Automated Vehicles for Airports (AVAP), has been focusing on developing autonomous vehicles to handle snow clearance, runway sweeping and grass cutting at airports. In the autumn of 2019 the project, which is financed by the Swedish Transport Administration, will demonstrate the possibilities of carrying out airport surveillance as well as autonomous snow clearance, grass cutting and friction measurements.

“LFV has for many years been involved with research and innovation to find new solutions for tomorrow’s aviation, nationally as well as internationally. New collaboration projects create new possibilities and strengthen Sweden’s position in digitisation and innovation,” says Gunnar Olsson.

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