LGS Begins Project to Build New Air Traffic Control Tower
2017 21 April,
By 2023, the Rīga International Airport will have a new and modern air traffic control centre, and the state stock company Latvian Air Traffic (LGS) has begun work on it. Construction is to begin next year, in 2018, and the tower will open with state-of-the-art technologies in 2023.
“LGS is of essential importance in Latvian aviation, ensuring high-quality and secure management of flights,” says Transportation Minister Uldis Augulis. “It is important for the infrastructure of air traffic control to develop in a timely way and in step with the development of Latvia’s overall aviation sector.”
“During its nearly 50 years of operations, the airport in Rīga has developed and expanded,” says LGS board chairman Dāvids Tauriņš. “New buildings have been erected, and flight numbers have increased substantially. We plan to continue this development, and that is why we need a new and taller tower.”
An experienced aeronavigation service provider from Germany, Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS) has just completed initial research work, finding that visual control over the airport requires a tower that is 50-60 metres tall, as opposed to the current tower, which stands at a height of 27 metres. The company has concluded that the old tower cannot be expanded to introduce, for instance, Remote Tower Control systems so as to make the provision of air traffic control services to regional airports such as the one in Liepāja much less expensive.
“The construction of the new tower will require no money from the national budget,” says Tauriņš. “Right now we believe that the total cost of the project might be around EUR 18 million. We are prepared to cover that sum ourselves, partly by taking out a bank loan. We are also actively looking at the possibility of attracting European Union co-financing for the project.”
The existing air traffic control tower at the Rīga airport will be preserved as a reserve facility.