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Sunday, 25 February

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London City Airport is to become the first UK airport to install a digital air traffic control tower – operational in 2019. The digital solution is a multi-million pound investment utilising state-of-the-art 360° HD cameras and sensors on a newly constructed tower...fed back to a building in Swanwick, Hampshire.

A live feed with a panoramic view of the airfield, along with sensory and operational data, will be sent via super-fast secure fibre connections to a new NATS control room.

NATS has been a big supporter of the decision to replace the existing 30-year old control tower with a digital tower, developed by Saab Digital Air Traffic Solutions

London City Airport has come-up with the multi-million pound investment in the technology.

Atop the new tower will be 14 high definition cameras and two pan-tilt-zoom cameras. The cameras will provide a full 360 degree view of the airfield in a level of detail greater than the human eye and with new viewing tools that will modernise and improve air traffic management.

The images of the airfield and data will be sent via independent and secure super-fast fibre networks. From Swanwick, air traffic controllers will perform their operational role, using the live footage displayed on 14 HD screens that form a seamless panoramic moving image, alongside the audio feed from the airfield and radar readings from the skies above London, to instruct aircraft and oversee movements.

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."
Picture: Inside the new remote air traffic control room

Article written by Brian Shillibeer

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