London City Airport will become the first in the UK to replace their air traffic control tower with a new system that is remotely operated off site. The Remote Tower system has been developed by the Swedish aerospace and defence company Saab and uses several high definition cameras and sensors to send real time data back to the offsite air traffic control centre. This data is displayed on multiple high resolution monitors giving staff all the information they need to control traffic approaching and departing the airfield as they would in a normal tower.
It was first installed at Örnsköldsvik Airport in and has also been trailed at other airports in Australia, Norway and Ireland. The new Remote Tower system at London City is due to be completed in 2018 and will then be tested for one year before it becomes fully operational in 2019.
It is being introduced as part of the £350m expansion programme to upgrade London City Airport which also plans to double annual passenger numbers by 2023 and increase the number of landings and take-offs from the runway from 70,000 a year to 110,000 a year.