The air navigation service providers of Latvia and Estonia – state joint stock company “Latvijas gaisa satiksme” (LGS) and "Lennuliiklusteeninduse Aktsiaselts" (Estonian Air Navigation Services - EANS) – are ready to work together in developing an air navigation management solution – a Remote Control Tower (rTWR).
On Friday, 13 January, the joint commitment was solidified in a cooperation memorandum on the development of the rTWR signed by Dāvids Tauriņš, Chairman of the Board at LGS, and Tanel Rautits, Chairman of the Board at EANS.
In the memorandum, both partners undertake to consider the possibilities to pool their resources for the development of new technologies and solutions and staff training, thus achieving significant economy of funds.
The memorandum envisions exchange of information and documents, coordination of programme development and other actions, joint analysis, as well as allocation of resources for these activities. The partners will also jointly draft an application to obtain European Union financing for the implementation of the project.
The need for developing and introducing rTWR technologies has been highlighted by the growth of small regional airports (in Latvia, most prospectively – Liepāja, Ventspils and others), and these technologies will allow human resources to be used efficiently in remotely servicing one or several small airfields. Upon the introduction of these technologies, air traffic controllers will no longer need to be physically present at the control tower at each small airfield, but will instead be able to regulate take-off, landing and movement on the airfield remotely from one central location. In Latvia that will be Riga Airport.
In Estonia at the airport of Tartu, currently common prototype of rTWR is being developed, and will be used for further studies, before the technology will be used in other regional airports of Estonia and Latvia.
After signing the memorandum, Dāvids Tauriņš, Chairman of the Board at LGS, stated that the successful introduction of the rTWR will allow for significant economy of funds, as well as aid the development of small airports in Latvia and Estonia by providing them with high-quality air navigation services.
In turn, Tanel Rautits, Chairman of the Board at EANS, emphasised: “Combining the experience, knowledge and resources of the air navigation service providers of Estonia and Latvia to reach the set goal will allow us to develop and implement future technologies ahead of our competitors, thus also raising the competitiveness of both companies involved.”
The establishment of the rTWR is one of the strategic goals to ensure long-term operational efficiency of the North European Functional Airspace Block (NEFAB), which unites Latvia, Estonia, Norway and Finland.
A feasibility assessment of the rTWR has been included in the NEFAB plan for 2017, and after its completion the management of the Block will decide on the future implementation of the proposal so as to achieve cost efficiency in air traffic control tower services, improve cooperation among NEFAB member states, whilst also examining solutions for preventing emergency situations.