Changi Airport gears up for S$7 mln trial for remote air traffic control

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore on Tuesday said it has hired UK-based Air Traffic Management service provider NATS to develop a smart digital tower prototype to be trialled at Changi Airport.

changi airport
People look at planes from a viewing gallery in Singapore's Changi Airport. Reuters

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) on Tuesday said it has hired UK-based Air Traffic Management service provider NATS to develop a smart digital tower prototype to be trialled at Changi Airport.

NATS, which manages air traffic control at London's Heathrow Airport, won the S$7 million contract to design the prototype.

The trial by the CAAS will evaluate the operational feasibility and robustness of such a smart digital tower to determine its suitability for a busy airport like Changi, CAAS said in a news release on Tuesday.

"In concert with Singapore's Smart Nation drive, we are leveraging digital technology to transform the aviation industry in Singapore in many different ways," CAAS director-general Kevin Shum said in a statement.

The awarded contract includes the set-up of multiple fixed-position cameras to feed live video images onto a large video wall. This will provide a similar view to what air traffic controllers (ATCOs) currently see from a physical control tower, CAAS said.

The trial will employ advanced camera and video stitching technologies, thus enabling better display of information

The tender for the smart digital tower prototype was launched on 28 February 2017 and attracted a total of three bids.

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