Skip to main content
European Commission logo

Advanced Remote Tower

European Union
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Network corridors
Total project cost
€2 894 815
EU Contribution
€1 484 765
Project website
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Vehicle design and manufacturing (VDM)
Network and traffic management systems (NTM)
Transport mode
Airborne icon
Transport policies
Societal/Economic issues
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Call for proposal
Link to CORDIS
Background & Policy context

The concept of placing the controller at the airport in a high building looking out of the windows to get an overview of the area of responsibility has remained unchanged since ATC was introduced after the second world war. This involves a number of limitations to the concept of operations. Some of these are:

  • low utilisation of personnel resources;
  • need for redundant resources at each ATC unit;
  • adding new aids and sensors often implies stand-alone equipment;
  • stand-alone adds to the head-down time removing focus from the primary field of view.

A cost benefit analysis performed by the LFV Group in Sweden regarding a paradigm transition to perform ATC services from remotely operated towers focusing rural small and medium density airports, shows economical benefits by more efficient staff enrolment, compared to traditional ATC operations from local towers at each airports. These benefits for the ANSP will in turn reduce the cost for the airline operators and travellers, and can contribute to ore flexible opening hours.


The enhanced situational awareness is one of the main prerequisites for enhanced regularity at aerodromes, which has proven to be one of the bottlenecks in today's ATM system.

The Advanced Remote Tower (ART) project aimed to change this concept and evolve airport operations. The ART objectives are to:

  • remotely operate an airport ATC unit;
  • combine remote operations with enhanced visibility and composite presentation of view and operational data;
  • evaluate operational pros and cons of the remote tower concept.

The following steps were taken to achieve these objectives:

  1. design and construct a remote tower cab;
  2. evaluate controller workload and situational awareness;
  3. evaluate operational benefits with new possibilities to present information;
  4. identify and quantify vital parameters to operate the remote tower;
  5. evaluate technical and operational safety issues.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
European Commission
Type of funding
Public (EU)


The project has demonstrated that remote towers have a future in the air traffic management domain and that opportunities are available, due to ART features within remote tower systems, concerning situational awareness and safety versus conventional tower operation.

Technical Implications

In the design phase of the project, first operational and architecture requirement were specified and based on these requirements, the following ART functions were defined:

  1. 360 degree circular panorama display
  2. Visual enhancement technology
  3. Presentation of airport and geographical information
  4. Presentation of weather information
  5. Sensor data fusion
  6. Presentation of aircrafts and vehicles
  7. Pan-tilt-zoom camera
  8. Record and replay
  9. Status monitoring and presentation
  10. Airport transfer

The 'Status monitoring and presentation' function was given lower priority than the others and was not implemented due to cost reasons.

Policy implications

The European Operational Concept Validation Methodology (E-OCVM) was used. This method, created by EUROCONTROL, aimed to provide a common approach to be applied by Research and Development organisations in support of the development and validation of operational Air Traffic Management (ATM) applications as they mature from simple concepts.

The approach of developing and testing the ART concept has been more implementation oriented than research oriented. Practical tests have been carried out in a near-operational environment.

Early coordination with the SESAR programme has made remote towers one of the important areas in the SESAR JU.

Being part of the sixth framework programme (FP6) has given opportunities to disseminate remote tower to a wide 'audience' and stakeholders. This dissemination has created great interest throughout the world and shown that remote tower is an alternative to conventional air traffic control.


Lead Organisation
Saab Ab
Ljungadalsgatan 2, VAXJOE, Sweden
Partner Organisations
Organisation website
EU Contribution
Nationaal Lucht En-Ruimtevaartlaboratorium
Anthony Fokkerweg 2, 1059CM AMSTERDAM, Netherlands
Organisation website
EU Contribution
Equipe Electronics Ltd
1 Martello Enterprise Centre, Courtwick Lane, LITTLEHAMPTON, United Kingdom
EU Contribution
Lyyn Ab
Ole Romers vag 12, LUND, Sweden
EU Contribution


Contribute! Submit your project

Do you wish to submit a project or a programme? Head over to the Contribute page, login and follow the process!