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Saab’s Remote Air Traffic Control Tower

The Remote Tower (r-TWR) developed by automotive brand SAAB is designed to enable the safe, efficient operation of airports from a single air traffic control facility at a remote location. The Remote Tower uses digital cameras and other sensors to provide an air traffic service facility with the situational awareness needed to conduct operations remotely.

Features such as object tracking and alerting, infra-red vision and image enhancement; enhance the controller’s situational awareness in low-visibility conditions. Low-visibility procedures—often causing delays—are reduced thereby improving the punctuality of air movements.


Overlay of labels, meteorological information and digital image enhancement improves the information available to the controller. Increasing the controller’s situational awareness leads to improved safety. Camera recordings allow play-back of traffic situations; this is useful when investigating incidents, further enhancing the safety benefits of the r-TWR.

The long-term benefits include reduced airport control tower construction and maintenance costs of as well as more efficient staffing of air-traffic services. The Remote Tower has been approved to direct air traffic for two remote airports in Sweden, with full operation expected to begin in autumn this year. Australia and Norway are also in the process of testing the Saab system.



all images courtesy of SAAB