KJYO first in nation to get remote control tower

Leesburg Executive Airport (KJYO) is the first airport in the nation to test a new remote air-traffic control system that eventually could be used at airports all over the country. According to a report at LeesburgToday, air traffic controllers from across the country began participating this week in mock trials to see how well they work with the system. The system won’t be used to manage actual airport operations because the technology hasn’t yet been approved, but the tests will yield suggestions and feedback from controllers.

For the test, an array of cameras were installed on the top of the airport terminal designed to digitally produce a 360° view of the airport on 15 video panels in a control room. Air traffic controllers have the ability to filter the screen for better visibility and can zoom in to specific areas — options not available to regular traffic controllers who monitor airspace by looking out a window.

Tax reallocation provides more funding for Washington state airports

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee recently signed the Transportation Appropriations Bill (Senate Bill 5988), which includes language to reallocate 100% of the existing annual state excise tax fees for aircraft to fund airport projects. Previously, 90% of aircraft excise tax funds were deposited into the General Fund, with only 10% percent going into the Aeronautics Account toward aviation. [Read more…]

Union wants more controllers at Tacoma Narrows Airport

TACOMA, Wash. – The Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization wants Serco, Inc., the British company that owns the air traffic control contract at Tacoma Narrow Airport (KTIW), to add staff. In a story in The (Tacoma) News Tribune, county officials report the airport is on pace to record 65,000 operations in 2015. That would represent a 68% increase from 2013’s low point of 38,7000 operations.