Munich airport is to introduce a validation system to examine the potential for virtual control tower installations at major hubs.

The system is to be implemented by the Frequentis DFS Aerosense venture following an international tender.

“In an initial project phase, the potential and suitability of the virtual tower for larger airports such as Munich will be determined and validated from both an operational and technical perspective,” it states.

These validation exercises will be carried out next year.

The programme will look at such specific-use cases as the establishment of an interim virtual tower while the main control tower at Munich is undergoing renovation.

Munich tower-c-Frequentis DFS Aerosense

Source: Frequentis DFS Aerosense

Munich’s validation system will enable exploration of virtual tower potential

German air navigation service DFS’s Munich facilities will accommodate the working environment for the virtual tower, which will include high-definition 360° panorama tilt-and-zoom cameras mounted on the main tower.

“The system is to support complex operations including mixed approaches and departures, and independent parallel runway operations,” says Frequentis DFS Aerosense.

While DFS has been using remote towers at smaller airports – such as Saarbrucken – chief executive Arndt Schoenemann says the Munich virtual tower project will enable the organisation to “explore its potential” and possibly “take a further step towards more digitalisation”.

“When making such a fundamental change, it is important that all stakeholders, especially air traffic controllers, are engaged in the project at an early stage to ensure full acceptance,” adds DFS Aviation Services managing director Andreas Potzsch.