London City Airport is set to become the first airport in the UK to operate a completely digital air traffic control tower. Working closely with one of our clients, NATS the new control tower will use 14 high definition cameras located at the top of a 50m pole. The images will then be sent via a secure super-fast fibre network to a new Operations Centre in Swanwick, Hampshire. From there air traffic controllers will perform their operational role using the live footage displayed on the video wall in front of them (similar to the ErgoMounts Infinity Series).
Controllers will be able to utilise a range of viewing tools and have detailed views of activity on the airfield, including aircraft movements along the 1500m runway. The cameras can pan, tilt and zoom (magnifying images up to 30 times for close inspection).
They will also have real-time information, including operational and sensory data, to build an augmented reality live view of the airfield. For example: weather information, on-screen labels, radar data and aircraft call signs.
Declan Collier, CEO at London City Airport, said: “A pioneering new digital air traffic control system will enhance safety and improve resilience, setting a new standard for the global aviation industry to follow. With London City Airport’s plans to grow and an existing tower which is reaching the end of its operational lifespan, this cutting edge proven technology future-proofs London City Airport’s air traffic control for the next 30 years and beyond.”
Mike Stoller, Director, Airports at NATS, said, “Digital towers are going to transform the way air traffic services are provided at airports by providing real safety, operational and efficiency benefits, and we are delighted that London City Airport has chosen to work with us to deliver what will be the first of its kind in the UK.”
The new digital air traffic control tower is planned to be fully operational at London City Airport by 2019 as part of their 30th Anniversary Renovations.