From 2024, planes taking off and landing at Tours airport will be controlled from Toulouse-Blagnac, 500 kilometers away. This is a first in France, but not in Europe.
The planes which take off and have imposed themselves at the airport of Tours, in Indre-et-Loire, in the Center-Val de Loire, will be controlled from the Toulouse-Blagnac airport zone, in Haute-Garonne from 2024. The information was revealed by the General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC) to our colleagues from France Blue Touraine Monday, December 12.
A digital control tower at Tours airport
So that aircraft movements at Tours airport can be controlled from Toulouse, 500 kilometers away, a digital control tower will be built. It will be equipped with 18 cameras on a kind of antenna about twenty meters high. The Toulouse controllers should therefore have the same view as if they were on site in Tours.
The visualization system will be provided by an Austrian company, Frequentis. And to avoid a break in the connection between the digital control tower and the South-West, everything will be doubled. There will thus be two internet operators and two arrivals of physical cables for optical fibre. The device should be operational in 2023, but will not be put into service until the following year.
A project to control five airports from Toulouse-Blagnac
The creation of a digital control tower is a first in France. On the other hand, such a system already exists in other countries in Europe. This is particularly the case in the Nordic countries, in England, or even in Belgium.
The initiative was launched in 2021 by the Air Navigation Services Department (DSNA) and the DGAC. It’s about Remote Tower Center project (RTC). It should make it possible to control, remotely from Toulouse-Blagnac, up to five regional aerodromes. That of Tours will be the first. For the direction of Tours airport, this tour is a guarantee of the maintenance of the activity of the sitewhich was questioned when leaving the military base last year.