Digitalisation paves the way for automation
Remote air traffic control has become a practical reality through digital technology, with Remote Tower Services (RTS). In 2015, LFV was the first in the world to deploy this technology at the control centre in Sundsvall, from which air traffic is managed at Örnsköldsvik Airport, Sundsvall Timrå Airport and Linköping City Airport.
The experience has been positive and there is great aviation safety value in having all information recorded and stored for analysis. Digitalisation also enables developments in the overflight traffic, En Rout, for example in terms of flexibility between Stockholm and Malmö or within one of our European partnerships, COOPANS.
It is also important for controllers to understand the possibilities and limitations of automation as the level of automation requires new skills. Strengthening operator training is an important issue addressed by projects such as RESKILL, for both air traffic management and maritime transport. Algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) are essential components for analysing the large amounts of data generated by a digitised air traffic management service. It will be particularly important that information is shared between stakeholders to improve everyone's performance. Augmented Reality is being studied in a pilot study that will investigate the benefits and value of the technology in air traffic management, training and surveillance.
LFV is also participating in Safeclouds, an EU project that aims to better understand the situation of air traffic controllers, analyse vast amounts of logged data for patterns and identify situations that could lead to critical incidents. The research that LFV conducts together with our partners has received considerable national and international attention, not least for our remote digital air traffic management.