Swedavia’s Kiruna Airport introduces remote air traffic services

The new control tower operation is key to the group’s digitation strategy as it prepares to implement the new technology at three other Swedish hubs

Kiruna Airport has become the first of four Swedavia operated hubs to inaugurate the Swedish Civil Aviation Administration’s (LFV) remote tower services managed from Stockholm, Arlanda.

“Launching the services at Kiruna Airport is a milestone in Swedavia’s digitisation and innovation strategy and as well as our continuous work to develop the airports of the future in line with our connectivity mission,” said Jonas Abrahamsson, president and CEO of Swedavia.

“We now have new opportunities for more efficient airport operations, and at the same time we safeguard important regional access by ensuring redundancy and enabling flexible opening hours. We look forward to good collaboration in the continued work to place the system in service at our other airports.”

Photo Swedavia

Swedavia signed a declaration with LFV in 2016, outlining the intent to study the conditions for remote tower services. A contract was then signed in 2017 to set up the technology at Kiruna, followed by Are Ostersund, Umea, and Malmo.

Andrea Fredriksson, director of Kiruna airport at Swedavia, added: “One of the greatest advantages that we see with the transition to remote tower services is that the technology will make it easier for us to ensure our preparedness with air ambulance flights 24 hours a day, but it will also make our mission to provide connectivity with scheduled passenger service easier.”

Developed by security technology firm, Saab, the new facility includes 14 cameras – providing a 360-degree view of the airport – which replace the current services on site.

The Swedish base is also the first to be operated from the centre at Stockholm, Arlanda.

In April of this year, London City Airport became the first international hub to be fully controlled by a remote digital air traffic tower after extensive trials throughout lockdown.