A NEW air traffic control system set to cut costs, increase safety, and facilitate the retention of 24-hour cover at Cork Airport has bagged a major international award.
Last month, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) successfully completed operational trials on remote tower technology at Cork and Shannon airports.
The new system means planes taking off from and landing at both airports can be directed remotely from a virtual control tower in Dublin.
Trials began in March last year when sensors, cameras and remote towers were installed. In the months that followed, the IAA tested out the system, gradually increasing the amount of aircraft controlled remotely.
This week, the new system was awarded the prestigious EU Single European Sky Award.
The accolade was presented to the IAA at a ceremony in Madrid on Tuesday night.
“Air travel is expected to double in the next 20 years across the globe and I firmly believe that air traffic services have to continue to innovate. As a result of our remote tower trials, we have proved that tower services at multiple airports can be safely provided by a single air traffic controller remotely. We believe this work represents the world’s first trial of multiple tower remote operation’s by a single air traffic controller," said Eamonn Brennan, chief executive of the IAA.
“The IAA has a strong tradition of being innovative to deliver cost efficiency, improved safety and higher productivity levels. With this in mind, we are delighted with the outcome of our recent Remote Tower technology trials and we extremely honoured to have secured this award... This is a great endorsement of our hard work, our findings and the great work of the IAA team."