ISSN 2330-717X

Indra To Make Budapest Major International Airport In Europe To Manage Landings And Take Offs Remotely

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Indra said Tuesday that its new contract with Hungarian air navigation service provider HungaroControl marks a milestone in the modernization of air traffic management. Budapest is the first of the European capital airports to have its air traffic controlled from a high-tech facility outside of the airport premises. 

Indra’s integrated solution will provide air traffic controllers with an even better visual overview than what you get from a conventional tower. And, they will have all required information, air traffic control functionalities and safety functions available from a single integrated display, a concept already operational at remote control centers. 

“HungaroControl is preparing for the future of air traffic management. With the remote tower solution from Indra, we take a giant step forward in achieving our objectives”, said Mr. Kornel Szepessy, CEO of HungaroControl. ”Smart technology and automation are tools to support human decision-making. By providing our air traffic controllers with the newest technology, we enhance operational efficiency and situational awareness. This benefits us, the airport, the airlines and ultimately the passengers.”

Indra has been collaborating closely with HungaroControl for nearly two decades. In 2006, the company was awarded the contract for delivering an InNOVA Advanced Surface Movement Guidance & Control System (A-SMGCS) for ground surveillance at Budapest Airport. This system has later been upgraded to include innovative safety functions and automated routing and guidance functionalities, some of which Indra and HungaroControl have developed in partnership under EU’s Single European Sky research program (SESAR). Since 2015, HungaroControl has been using the InNOVA Tower System in their remote contingency centre. This project, named rTWR, won the Jane’s ATC Award in 2018.  

Whilst air traffic controllers normally need to monitor several different screens to get the full overview, the InNOVA Tower System stands out by integrating all relevant functions and information into a single display. Reducing the number of screens improves the controllers’ situational awareness, their efficiency and ultimately the flight safety. 

As part of the new project, HungaroControl will also get a label-based flight plan system with additional flight lists integrated into their tower display. This further contributes to a seamless digital working platform for the controllers. The system is prepared for delivering multi-airport operations.

With IRTOS, Indra’s optical solution for remote towers, HungaroControl gets the highest 4K image quality. They will enjoy a seamless panoramic view of the airport, with colour night vision and virtual overlays. Cameras will be located at various sites on the airport to enhance the visual observation of the airport and other areas of interest to the controllers. Thanks to augmented reality, the controllers can zoom, identify and automatically follow moving objects.  The visual presentation will also include additional information such as MET, safety nets, highlight of geographic features etc. which are enhancements compared with a traditional tower out-the-window view.

“We are very proud to be trusted by HungaroControl to collaborate with them in yet another pioneering project. Not only do we collaborate on research in SESAR projects, but we manage to put the theory into practice and implement technology and complete solutions that will shape the future of air traffic management.” says Eldar Hauge, Managing Director of Indra in Norway.   

Indra’s InNOVA Tower System is already used to remotely control several Norwegian airports in what is known as the world’s largest remote tower programme, by Norwegian air navigation service provider Avinor.

Indra will deliver three separate systems, one to be used operationally, the second to be installed at their contingency centre and the third to be used as a test system. The implementation project starts immediately and is expected to run for the next two years.  

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