IP KVM and Remote Access Solutions Improve Air Traffic Management Globally

Air Traffic Control Officers need a direct and seamless view of runways and airport terrain to manage massive airline traffic movement during landing, departure, and on the ground.

To meet the demands of the ATCOs and network applications of airports, multiple airports across Europe are implementing high-performance, safe, and reliable IT solutions. The end-to-end IP KVM (Keyboard-Video-Mouse) solutions are helping Air Traffic Controllers coordinate the arrival/departure of flights and control overflying planes.

High Situational Awareness of Air Traffic Control Officers (ATCOs)

Black Box® is a leading provider of IP KVM solutions in Europe and worldwide. Emerald® IP KVM products empower ATCOs to monitor ground-traffic control, visualize information, and react instantly. Air Traffic Controllers can remotely access all aviation control systems in real-time without any latency, and control computers that are located as far as 80 km away from the ATC tower.

By implementing Black Box's Emerald IP KVM extenders in multiple leading European airports, ATCOs improve efficiency, optimize workflows, and lower operational costs.

Seamless Air-Traffic Management

Air Traffic Controllers across the globe control a massive amount of air traffic every day. Multiple sources report that approximately 100,000 flights take off and land every day all over the world.

Managing such significant airline traffic movements from air traffic control rooms is a huge task. IP KVM systems help Air Traffic Controllers streamline workflows. With simplified control and remote access, KVM products enable ATCOs to control visual elements and processes securely, quickly, and efficiently.  

Global Flight Traffic

Centralized and redundant solutions increase operational efficiency and reduce workforce demand. IP KVM offers futureproof control room solutions, characterized by high resilience, flexibility, and low latency.

With the industry trend towards IP and virtualization, Black Box Emerald is a first choice for IP KVM remote access. A fail-proof, redundant Emerald solution guarantees continuous operation of airport processes.

Use Case

KVM supports a critical infrastructure operating 24x7 year-round with no downtime.

If a KVM system goes down, the server connection fails. If a critical server goes down, operations in a busy airport can stop, creating chaos. The stakes are high. There’s no room for failure.   

To avoid such a situation, a leading airport in Europe was looking for a next-generation KVM solution. The airport needed reliability, security, and operational safety of all IT systems so that air traffic controllers could enjoy centralized air traffic management with increased operational efficiency and reduced manpower demands.

The award-winning IP KVM system was the solution. But what’s so unique about it? Let’s explore the technology and its benefits for a better idea.

Emerald IP KVM is a fail-proof system that offers both scalable signal-extension and switching. Even if an individual component fails, only that component stops working. All other components in the system keep running. Redundant Boxilla® managers ensure network management remains uninterrupted.

 John Hickey, Sr. Director R & D and KVM Systems at Black Box, commented:

“The biggest advantage of our IP KVM solution is that the KVM keeps working even if the manager goes offline. If the manager goes away, the air traffic controllers can still make connections and stay operating because they have their last known database. That’s the biggest differentiation of our product over our peers.”

If a server/PC fails, operators using the Emerald KVM system can easily switch to a backup resource with a click of the mouse. Work can be moved between operators during peak times – even if that operator is in another tower or at a remote airfield.

Also, cybersecurity is a crucial concern in airports worldwide. Emerald provides maximum security, with a system hardening process that ensures high security now and throughout the lifetime of the product. Customers can rest easy knowing that the system meets their strict security requirements for years going forward.

Comprehensive Solutions for ATCOs

Black Box's state-of-the-art IP KVM solutions include Emerald DESKVUE (plus its new AV WALL feature), 4K/PE/SE Extenders, Remote App, and Boxilla KVM Manager. ATCOs use DESKVUE to build a personalized workspace for simultaneously monitoring/interacting with up to 16 systems (physical/virtual/cloud-based). DESKVUE’s new AV WALL feature set enables users to add a 2x2 video wall to enhance collaboration.

Emerald Family Diagram
Black Box Emerald IP KVM: How Does It Work?

DESKVUE can connect to physical machines via Emerald Transmitters or to Virtual Machines using RDP or PCoIP protocols, as well as to H.264/265 sources.

Using DESKVUE, users can switch between connected systems instantaneously via simple mouse clicks without hotkey errors. Users can freely position system windows across four 4K screens (including ultra-wide curved-monitors). Users get HD and 4K video sources in a secure environment.

Users can access the Emerald solution from laptops, thanks to its true compatibility with USB devices and the Remote App software-only KVM receivers. Boxilla enables ATCOs to comprehensively manage/control KVM systems via intuitive dashboards.

Emerald IP KVM gives Air Traffic Controllers pixel-perfect remote access to servers from their workstations anywhere on Earth. DESKVUE offers users a novel way of optimizing the user workspace. Use Remote App to convert a Windows® 10/11 laptop to a software-only KVM-receiver.

Black Box Emerald Unified KVM Product Comparison

FeatureEmerald 4KEmerald DESKVUEEmerald PEEmerald SEEmerald ZeroU TXEmerald Remote App
Max Video Resolution4096 x 2160 at 60Hz (DisplayPort 1.2)5120 x 1440 at 60 Hz (DP 1.2/HDMI 2.0) Quad Monitor1920 x 1200 at 60 Hz (DVI [TX and RX], DisplayPort [TX only]) SE/PE: Single or Dual Monitor1920 x 1200 at 60Hz
Video QualityPixel perfectVisually losslessHigh quality ~35fps
Dual Network PortsYes, (2) SFP+Yes, (2) CATxYes, (1) SFP, (1) CATxNo, (1) CATx-
Peripheral SupportAll USB 2.0 devicesUSB 3.2, USB 2.0All USB 2.0 devicesUSB HID only
VM SupportPCoIP, RDP/RemoteFX *Supports PCoIP with EMD3000GE.PCoIP, RDP/RemoteFX *Supports PCoIP with EMD3000GE.RDP/RemoteFXRDP/RemoteFX-RDP/RemoteFX
Bidirectional Analog Stereo AudioYesYesYesYes(Speaker only)(Speaker only)
System ScalabilityPoint-to-point extension up to unlimited KVM matrix

Comprehensive Black Box Emerald solutions support a wide array of applications. Use Emerald for multiple site deployments, IP KVM based extension, seamless connectivity to virtual machines, and redundant and resilient backup systems.

To choose the best Emerald solution for your application, contact our experts today.


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