NATS signs digital tower cooperation agreement with HungaroControl

19 March 2018

The UK-based air traffic services provider, NATS has signed an agreement with its Hungarian counterpart, HungaroControl, with the view to collaborating on digital tower projects around the world.

The framework agreement brings together two of the world’s leading air navigation service providers in the development and application of digital tower technology.

Last year, HungaroControl announced that Budapest Airport would become the first medium-capacity airport in the world where its air traffic controllers manage traffic from a digital tower. Regulatory certification has already been given and HungaroControl is planning to move to a full-time ‘digital’ operation by 2020.

2017 also saw NATS set up its first remote digital tower facility for London City Airport within its Swanwick control centre and become joint shareholders in Searidge Technologies, which develops digital tower solutions, including tools for largescale, complex airports.

Changi Airport will be the first to benefit from this new agreement. In November 2017, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore appointed NATS to lead a team, which includes HungaroControl and Searidge, to develop a digital smart tower prototype for Changi.

Andy Taylor, NATS Head of Customer Solutions, said: “Between NATS, HungaroControl and Searidge Technologies, I believe we can offer airports around the world unrivalled expertise in the development, transition and deployment of digital towers, from safety assurance and training right through to certification and live operational experience.”

Attila Simon, HungaroControl, Business Development Director: “We are delighted to join NATS in this collaboration, and particularly with our first joint focus, at Changi Airport, on what will be the biggest deployment of digital tower technology anywhere in the world to date.”

[Image shows Searidge Technologies digital tower demonstrator]

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