Air traffic controllers in Estonia will be able to work remotely via data link communications

EANS, in cooperation with Cybernetica AS, is developing a new service, where air traffic controllers will receive the information required for work via a data link, which will enable them to work remotely rather than in the immediate vicinity of the aerodrome.

“All the outgoing visual information is displayed for air traffic controllers through a video system allowing air traffic controller’s working position to be away from the immediate vicinity of the Tower,” says Tanel Rautits, EANS CEO.

“Whereas normally ready-made solutions are purchased, this time working tools are being developed in cooperation with partners in Estonia and integrated into a single complete set. Remote TWR solution allows to combine all the aerodrome control units of Estonian aerodromes into one unit – it provides a possibility to optimise the air traffic controllers’ work organisation on the one hand and on the other hand to improve their working skills more profoundly,” says Rautits.

It is planned to get its prototype ready for testing in Tartu, by mid 2017.

Datalink between planes and controllers as well

During 2017 it is planned to complete the implementation of the datalink between air traffic controllers and pilots, i.e. datalink between airborne flight computer and ATM system – CPDLC (Controller Pilot Data Link Communications).

The new datalink communications enable air traffic controllers and replace voice instructions issued via radio exchange with messages. The advantage of the data exchange is decreased mutual misunderstandings, clarifications/confirmations and reduced workload of air traffic controllers and pilots. “In the long run the implementation of this datalink system will enhance flight safety and optimise the workload of air traffic controllers,” says Rautits.

The air traffic controllers will be able to use the datalink system at the beginning of 2018, when the required training has been provided and the new service has passed the ECAA certification process.

In addition to it, EANS is completing the update of the mechanical parts of the radars in use, implementing the pan-Estonian multilateration system, cooperating with the Finnish ANS Provider Finland Oy and assisting Tallinn Airport in their reconstruction project.

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The first unit to test the new type of air traffic control is at Tartu aerodrome.