The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS)
has awarded UK-based Air Traffic Management service provider NATS
a contract, valued at close to $7 million, to develop a smart
digital tower prototype to be trialled at Changi Airport, over a
period of 22 months.
CAAS will then evaluate the operational
feasibility before determining the suitability and robustness of
such a smart digital tower for a busy airport like Changi Airport.
A smart digital tower, equipped with a
range of assistive functionalities and features, could
enhance air traffic management and the safety of runway and ground
operations, as well as increase operational efficiencies at Changi
The contract includes the set-up of multiple
fixed-position cameras to feed live video images onto a large
video wall. This will provide a similar view to what air traffic
controllers (ATCOs) currently see from a physical control tower.
The trial will employ advanced camera and video
stitching technologies, and the cameras can automatically pan, tilt, and zoom,
to enable a closer look at objects and/or areas of interest.
Director-General of CAAS, Mr Kevin Shum,
said, “In concert with Singapore’s Smart Nation drive, we are
leveraging digital technology to transform the aviation industry
in Singapore in many different ways. We look forward to working
closely with NATS to co-develop the operational procedures and
processes required to deploy the smart digital tower for Changi
Airport. We are excited by the possibilities and remain committed
to working with our industry partners to provide quality air
traffic management services without compromising on safety and
The tender for the smart digital tower
prototype was launched on 28 February 2017 and attracted a total
of three bids. CAAS says that all bids were evaluated based on a set of criteria,
including technical expertise, company track record, and price
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