Air traffic

Catching up with Saab digital air traffic solutions

At the recent WATMC event, ATM magazine had the opportunity to meet Per Ahl, CEO of Saab Digital Air Traffic Solutions. We discussed ATC, digital tower, drones and UAM.

The show’s news addressed two of these topics. The first integrated ATC deployment for the organization in the Middle East. The second brings us to the subject of the digital tower with the announcement of a new partnership to deploy this solution in Latin America.

As solutions scale to global customers, new functionality is needed – different regions have different requirements, so you can’t have a one-size-fits-all solution. The initial solutions were very high end and now there is a need to cater to different sized sites with different working environments. Through user groups with the ATCOs, the company was able to define many new ideas that the ATCOs would find useful in the technology and how it works. The shift to digitalization on a global scale is facilitated by this inclusion. And many exciting new ideas are generated by including ATCOs early on. Additionally, the environmental impact of digital towers must also be considered as they contribute to the overall reduction of our industry’s carbon footprint.

Global ANSP customers understand that the future is about digitization and programs to support this are a priority. New developments will come online in the third quarter of this year and will continue for the next few years. Our younger generation at ATCO are particularly interested in these topics as they operate in a very digital world in their daily lives and expect this to spill over into their professional lives.

Partners are essential when it comes to drones. Rather than doing in-house development for all UTM-related features, partners help move the industry forward at a faster pace. It is essential to consider not only drones, but also eVTOL aircraft, and the need to involve regional airports. Integration of data collection and sharing with assistance to support eVTOL and UAM programs. There is an important program in Sweden, in which the company participates, called Test Arena for the Autonomous Airport. This program goes beyond the subject of UAM and examines how advanced digitization can support autonomous airport applications that enable global accessibility and efficient transport of goods and people in a sustainable and climate-friendly way.

Looking more specifically at air mobility, it’s great to have state-sponsored programs that can help our industry leverage lessons learned from self-driving car programs and engage regulators and the supply chain. Global supply to discussion. ‘U-space is the beginning of the movement of autonomous people’. Let’s start!