£350m London City Airport

London City Airport to Commission Digital Air Traffic Control

As part of a £350m development, London City is leading the way in being the UK’s first airport to replace manned air traffic control (ATC) with a remotely operated digital system.

Having already having been tested in Ireland, Norway, Sweden and even Australia, the new system will consist of 14 cameras – two of which can be manipulated to pan, zoom and tilt – to be live fed (via fibre) back to a series of screens 80 miles away in Hampshire.

NATS (formerly National Air Traffic Services) operators will be able to access a 360° panoramic view of London City Airport, as well as being able to both see and hear all aviation action at the location. The result will be a more efficient and reactive ATC.

London City Airport to Utilise Flight Tracking Technology

NATS have concluded that the new system will “give the controller more information in terms of what they can see and hear.” This is because the new ATC system promises an updated service, where operators will have a more comprehensive view of London City, and the ability to put data on the screen whilst being able to track individual flights.

This additional flight tracking technology will importantly give operators a heightened sense of aviation security, not to mention enabling them to pick out rogue drones – a real problem facing today’s air traffic control.

Predicting this system to be operational in 2019, London City is decommissioning their current manual air traffic control and replacing it with a digital one. This importation of technology signals a sure acceptance and adaptation to the changing aviation times. However, there is no need to worry about cyber security, as London City Airport’s chief executive is “absolutely confident” of the systems cyber robustness and has been thoroughly tested and certified as secure and trusted.

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