By 2019 the 30-year-old on site manned traffic control tower will the scrapped for this London City Airport, they will be moving into a new age. The new control tower will be controlled remotely by a new control room at the National Air Traffic Services (Nats) centre in Swanwick, Hampshire. From this control room, they will have a digital 360-degree view of the airport, taken from new 50m high tower equipped with 14 High Definition cameras and two pan-tilt-zoom cameras.
These high spec cameras along with a multitude of other sensors will provide a seamless panoramic live stream of the airfield, with an audio feed and radar reading of the skies above London, which is all pass through a superfast fibre network.
The Controller will also be able to use a range of different viewing features such as high definition zoom and enhanced visuals, which provide detailed views of activity on the airfield, including close-up views of aircraft movements along the 1500m runway, with pan-tilt-zoom cameras that can magnify up to 30 times for close inspection. Which should ensure the safest of journeys for us all.
The technology has been developed by Saab Digital Air Traffic Solutions, and is already in use at Örnsköldsvik and Sundsvall airports in Sweden, and has been since 2015.
As you can imagine people are afraid of change and are worried that this isn’t as ‘safe’ as a manually controlled tower, but like everything there are pros and cons to it. A lot of worries have come from the issue that the stream may be interrupted, or could be threatened by a cyber-attack, but Declan Collier, London City Airport chief executive, said he was “absolutely confident” that the system is safe from the threat of a cyber-attack.
“No chief executive is complacent about threats from cyber security,” he said.
“But we are very confident that the systems we’re putting in place here are secure, they’re safe, they’re managed very well.”