CAAS Awards Contract to Develop Smart Digital Tower Prototype
Prototype will test the viability of smart tower technologies for Changi Airport
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has awarded UK-based Air Traffic Management service provider NATS1 a contract, valued at close to $7 million, to develop a smart digital tower prototype to be trialled at Changi Airport, over a period of 22 months. CAAS will then evaluate the operational feasibility before determining the suitability and robustness of such a smart digital tower for a busy airport like Changi Airport.2
A smart digital tower, equipped with a range of assistive functionalities and features, is envisioned to enhance air traffic management and safety of runway and ground operations, and to increase operational efficiencies at Changi Airport. The awarded contract includes the set-up of multiple fixed-position cameras to feed live video images onto a large video wall. This will provide a similar view to what air traffic controllers (ATCOs) currently see from a physical control tower. The trial will employ advanced camera and video stitching technologies, thus enabling better display of information. For instance, the video cameras can automatically pan, tilt, and zoom, to enable a closer look at objects and/or areas of interest.
Director-General of CAAS, Mr Kevin Shum, said: “In concert with Singapore’s Smart Nation drive, we are leveraging digital technology to transform the aviation industry in Singapore in many different ways. We look forward to working closely with NATS to co-develop the operational procedures and processes required to deploy the smart digital tower for Changi Airport. We are excited by the possibilities and remain committed to working with our industry partners to provide quality air traffic management services without compromising on safety and service levels.”
The tender for the smart digital tower prototype was launched on 28 February 2017 and attracted a total of three bids. All bids were evaluated based on a set of criteria, including technical expertise, company track record, and price competitiveness.
1 NATS is the UK's leading provider of Air Traffic Management services. It provides air traffic control services from centres at Swanwick, Hampshire and Prestwick, Aryshire, as well as air traffic control services at fourteen (14) of the nation's major airports including Heathrow and Stansted.
2 Development works on smart digital tower operations have so far been focused on airports with low to moderate air traffic volume.
About the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS)
The mission of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) is to “Grow a safe, vibrant air hub and civil aviation system, making a key contribution to Singapore's success”. CAAS' roles are to oversee and promote safety in the aviation industry, develop the air hub and aviation industry, provide air navigation services, develop Singapore as a centre for aviation knowledge and training, and contribute to the development of international aviation.
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