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London City Becomes First Major Airport to Control Air Traffic Remotely | Science and Technology News

London City Airport became the first major international airport to control air traffic remotely.

The planes are guided from a control tower over 70 miles away.

A 50m high tower has been built at the airport, fitted with 14 high definition cameras which will feed video and audio to the Hampshire Remote Control Center, where the NATS air traffic controller is based.

The technology was developed by Saab Digital Air Traffic Solutions in Sweden, where it was initially tested.

It marks a major shift in the aviation industry, where planes are typically tasked with taking off and landing by airport based operators.

Airport operations manager Alison FitzGerald said the remote tower aims to improve efficiency and safety.

The tracks are viewed on panoramic screens which are overlaid with additional information such as radar and weather data.

Remote air traffic control has some security risks, according to cybersecurity expert Holly Williams, but they can be managed by ensuring that a rigorous testing process is in place.

Ms. FitzGerald of City Airport said that all key components are replicated, so in the rare event of “a failure of a particular part of the system, there is always a backup.”

The new technology is considered a major breakthrough in aviation.

Alan Newbold is the global leader in digital aviation at engineering consulting firm Arup. He believes that “from the point of view of progress, it’s absolutely about the money.”

Airports, he said, will need to be increasingly data-driven and informed, so it is essential that operators have “the right information at the push of a button” to reduce risk and improve performance. resilience.

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This notice was published: 2021-04-29 21:33:00