Indra has played an important part in the technology development leading to the opening of the world’s largest remote tower centre. By the end of 2022, 15 airports will be remotely operated from the centre, located in Bodø in northern Norway. Two airports are already operational, Røst and Vardø, 115 and 750 kilometres away.
The centre is owned and operated by Avinor, the Norwegian air navigation service provider. Indra and technology partner Kongsberg deliver the systems that enable the transition from conventional towers at the airports to centralized digital towers. Indra’s InNOVA Tower System provides air traffic controllers and AFIS (Aerodrome Flight Information Service) officers with situational awareness when managing approaching flights and movements on the ground. The GAREX Voice Communication System, also from Indra, ensures reliable communication with pilots.
With the InNOVA Tower System, Avinor gets information needed for safe management of air and ground traffic integrated into a single screen. The information includes for instance electronic flight strips, traffic situation display and meteorological information. It can be expanded to include advanced safety nets and automated functions applied at some of the world’s most complex airports. The system is prepared to let operators remotely manage multiple airports from the same working position, as validated by Avinor in a SESAR project in 2019 with further validations due in early 2021.
Indra has been in the forefront of remote tower development for years. In 2009, Indra provided to the British Air Navigation Service Provider NATS with the tower system for world’s first “remote tower”, the Virtual Control Facility at Heathrow. In 2018, our remote tower delivery to HungaroControl was awarded the Jane’s ATC Award as the world’s first integrated remote tower system to be approved for operations with no capacity restrictions.