On Tuesday, November 17, I, as customers and interested parties from all over the world, had the opportunity to take a look behind the scenes at the Remote Tower Centre of the German air navigation service provider DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung in Leipzig.
In close cooperation between DFS, its subsidiary DFS Aviation Services and the technology provider Frequentis, a live stream from Leipzig was organized. The event was hosted by the joint venture Frequentis DFS Aerosense, which has been selling remote tower solutions internationally since 2018.
The live event was originally planned as part of the World ATM Congress in Madrid in spring, but like many events it had to be cancelled due to Corona. Now, a purely digital solution has been created between Leipzig, Langen and Vienna.
In total there were more than 300 registrations from all over the world. 240 spectators from more than 140 international companies from around 50 countries attended the event on Tuesday and took the opportunity to ask the project experts questions.
My two questions were about the training. It was interesting to learn that it tooks more or less 4 months to be qualified for a rated Air traffic Controller. My second was about ab-initio controlers. At this stage, RTC Centre Leipzig has two ab-initio controllers. Andreas Willmann explained us that, indeed, it was easier for an ab-inito ATCO to be trained in a remote tower center. The reason is simple, They do not need to adapt to the virtual context. At the academy, they were used to work on simulator, so the transition with real traffic is easier than for a rated ATCO who has to forget the work in a control tower.
A very good participation rate, which once again shows the great international interest in the DFS Remote Tower project.
Service for Saarbrücken Airport from the Leipzig remote control center has been in operation for almost two years now. DFS and Frequentis are ahead of many countries and can be called a "first mover" in this field.
In addition to a guided tour and an interview on the operational handling of Andreas Willmann as the responsible supervisor for the Remote Tower Center, the viewers were also thrilled with an exciting interview with Dirk Mahns, the COO of DFS. Dirk Mahns reported on the progress of the project and the further RTC plans of DFS. Peter Gridling, Vice President Sales of Frequentis DFS Aerosense, was available for technical questions.