ENAIRE relies on digital control towers to improve efficiency and performance
ENAIRE, Spain's national air navigation manager, took part today in a virtual conference on "Remote towers at airports and their viability in Spain", organised by the Universidad Pontificia Comillas and the Spanish Association of Aviation and Space Law, in concert with the Spanish Aeronautical Society.
The Director of Air Navigation Services, Enrique Maurer, stresses that "the trend in air control is digitisation and automation"
ENAIRE's presentation, titled "New operating modes: from remote towers to digital towers", was given by the Director of Air Navigation Services, Enrique Maurer, who noted that ENAIRE is committed to the digitisation of control towers, including their remote operation, to enhance their efficiency and improve their current performance, especially in reduced visibility conditions. "The trend in air control is digitisation and automation, all supported by gradual and increasing virtualisation, in combination with the phasing in of new technological concepts", he stressed.
"Future control towers will feature more digitisation and automation, which will make it possible for systems to contribute more to the advancement of the current mode of operation, based on the need for adequate visibility of the airfield and apron, which will result in improved safety with new alert and compliance features; improved operations at complex airports; improved capacity in adverse weather situations; smoother operations and lower infrastructure costs and operating expenses", he explained. It will also result in "integrated system information and enhance how traffic is presented visually and automate this process".
Also taking part in the video conference were representatives from other entities in the aeronautical sector: Aena, AESA, CEANITA, FSAI, Indra and the Spanish Aeronautical Society.
Remote control tower concept
The various speakers explained the scope and possibilities of the remote control tower concept.
A remote control tower entails providing air traffic service (ATS) for airports from remote locations that have no direct visual access to the aerodrome. The service provided can be aerodrome control (ATC) or flight information service (AFIS).
Remote control can be provided permanently, as needed, at certain times of the day or as part of airport contingency measures.
A remote control tower recreates in an off-site location the view and functionality of a conventional control tower.
ENAIRE is the company of the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda that manages air navigation in Spain. It renders aerodrome control services at 21 airports, including the busiest in terms of air traffic, plus en-route and approach control, from five control centres: Barcelona, Madrid, Gran Canaria, Palma and Seville. In addition, ENAIRE provides communications, navigation and surveillance services to 45 air control towers.
In 2019, ENAIRE handled 2.1 million flights to and from four continents (Europe, America, Asia and Africa), transporting 320 million passengers.
ENAIRE is the fourth most important European air navigation service provider, and, in a clear commitment to the Single Sky initiative, belongs to international partnerships such as SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) Joint Undertaking, SESAR Deployment Manager, A6 Alliance, iTEC, CANSO (Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation) and ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization).