The Irish Aviation Authority has hired aviation consultancy Helios to assess whether the air traffic control expansion, required for an addition runway at Dublin Airport, should be realised through a traditional Air Traffic Control tower or newer Remote Tower Technology. The value of the consulting contract has not been disclosed.
The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) was formed in 1994 following the Irish Aviation Authority Act. The authority is a commercial semi-state company that has approximately 650 staff across its six locations across Ireland. The IAA has three core functions, including the provision of air traffic management across Irish controlled airspace, enforcing the safety regulation of the civil aviation industry and the oversight of civil aviation security in Ireland.
Dublin Airport has in recent years enjoyed strong growth in the number of passengers serviced. Last year passenger numbers grew by 15% on 2014 to just over 25 million. To meet the continued expected growth of the airport, an additional parallel runway has been proposed. To service the air control needs of an additional runway, a new Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower may be required. As part of planning permission for the airport, the IAA granted planning permission for an 86.9 meter high tower in 2007.
The IAA recently announced that it is considering additional options regarding the construction of a new Air Traffic Control. The firm has hired Helios, a consulting firm specialised in aviation services, to assess the operational and technical feasibility of implementing modern Remote Tower Technology (RTT), which may play down the need for a new tower. The RTT has a lower footprint than a conventional tower and may be a more viable option in the current context, says the IAA.
Helios will perform a study to determine whether a RTT is a better option than a new ATC. The study will involve assessing safety, human factors, regulatory approval, technical requirements and operations for feasibility. The firm will hold workshops with a range of stakeholders to ensure a transparent decision making process. The study is expected to be completed by the end of this month.