From “Air Traffic Management“:
Saab, the Virginia SATSLab, Inc. (VSATS) and the Leesburg Executive Airport (Leesburg, VA) are partnering to demonstrate and evaluate Saab remote tower technologies at Leesburg Executive Airport during the summer of 2015.
The demo will deploy a number of Saab technologies at the airport — high definition video cameras, pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) camera, signal light gun (SLG) and microphones — that will provide data directly to a Remote Tower Center (RTC) also located at the airport. The RTC will have multiple high-definition displays and two controller working positions with command of voice communications, the cameras and SLG. read full article
If you liked LockMart AFSS, you’re going to love this.
The “key efficiency” in an RTC (remote tower center) is going to be staffing flexibiity. Just like at Leesburg AFSS, people will be cross-qualified at multiple airports.
Qualified controllers will no longer be highly informed local experts; this is a shift to commodity staffing and a commensurate loss of local expertise and quality of service, especially in non-standard operations.
Today at generic Podunk Tower, there’s fifteen CPCs. Those union controllers have some power because the law says they can unionize, they’re highly specialized and skilled, and they’re the only people in the world qualified and current in Podunk Tower. They occupy a unique boutique niche that empowers them and makes them a voice for operational quality.
At Podunk Tower when the evening shift controller calls in sick, they call in another Podunk controller. In Saab-LockMart’s Remote Tower Center when the operator planned for Alphaville calls in sick, they just re-assign somebody from another area to cover. Just like at LockMart AFSS.
During the quiet hours, there’s a controller in Podunk and every tower that’s scheduled to be open. At Saab-LockMart’s Remote Tower Center, they’ll combine positions and have one person working multiple airports. (it’s in their documentation).
The demo is marketed as providing ATC services for non-towered airports, but this is not about expanding service, employment, or expenses. This is demonstrating the capability to shift airport ATC from a Tower paradigm to a Center paradigm, and from a Federal structure to a Contractor structure.
In addition to union-busting and beast-starving, this will reduce the quality of airport ATC for system users – passengers and pilots. But it will work for the corporations.