The Airports at Borlänge, Trollhättan, Västerås, Växjö and Örebro have finalised their common tender for Air Traffic Control (Tower) ACR Aviation Capacity Resources AB (ACR) won the tender in competition with LFV (Luftfartsverket). ACR won for the second time the tender for Örebro Airport, Västerås Airport, Växjö/Småland Airport and Trollhättan-Vänersborgs Airport since the market opened for competition and ACR entered the market in 2011. ACR won an additional new Airport, Borlänge Airport. The new contract period is for four years with start 2016 with the option to extend for another two years until 2021.
At smaller Airports, the cost for Air Traffic Control (Tower) is often the heaviest cost burden for the Airport. Since ACR entered the market, the cost savings since 2011 have made a big positive impact at smaller Airports financial status, says Wilhelm Wohlfahrt, CEO at ACR.
The tender included both ATS and MET. ACR is today managing 12 towers, with 98 air traffic controllers/assistants. At Borlänge Airport, all personal in the tower will be offered employment at ACR.
ACR is looking forward to the assignment at Borlänge Airport and to get new colleges to the ACR family, says Wilhelm Wohlfahrt.
1 January 2015 ACR started ATC tower operations at Stockholm-‐Skavsta, Ljungbyhed and Ängelholm Airports, after being successful in the tender process in 2014. This entails that ACR will be responsible for ATC at 13 civilian Airports in Sweden from 2016.
Since the de-‐regulation of the ATC tower market in Sweden, the costs have been reduced by approx. 30 % for the Airports that are managed by ACR today.
The de‐regulation of the ATC market is part of the EU commissions work to give EU member states the conditions to open their markets for competition. Today Denmark, Germany, Spain, Great Britain and Sweden are open for competition. Even EFTA members, like Norway is preparing for competition. ACR is looking to Norway and will be prepared when tenders starts in Norway.
ACR is convinced, that the ”classical “operations of ATC/tower control is still the most cost effective solution and that further streamlining can be made with maintained safety in the air.
For the short to medium term the Remote Tower System (RTS) will get increased importance. ACR welcomes technical innovations, but ACR considers the RTS concept to have advantages as a back up at big Airports in Europe. ACR are in discussions with the industry and are monitoring the developments, says Wilhelm Wohlfahrt.
To meet the challenges of new technical operational solutions is with existing personnel in the towers to be more cost effective and to develop the possibilities for increased capacity utilization. This can entail more cross border duties at the Airports. ACR believe that European ATCO´s and Trade Unions have to create more modern collective agreements to meet future challenges. The ATC markets will undergo changes in the future, says Wilhelm Wohlfahrt.
ACR is the most cost effective Air Navigation Service Providers in Europe today and ”food for thought” for other Air Navigation Service Providers in Europe is that out of ACR 107 employees, 98 are operative air traffic controllers/assistants. This makes ACR competitive today and for the future, says Wilhelm Wohlfahrt.