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Old 20th May 2017, 20:50   #41 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by jackieofalltrades View Post
Am I missing something? If that's the main reason, couldn't they just build a new tower on top of a terminal expansion?
But that would cost the airport more money!

I think LCY are going along with the digital/virtual/remote option so they can have the discounted 'guinea pig' rate from NATS.
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Old 20th May 2017, 20:56   #42 (permalink)
 
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I'm a professional pilot and I've been brilliantly looked after by the people in all the various ATC categories for more than 40 years.
I'm an old school pilot (obviously), and I think it's a terrible idea. Progress? ....
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Old 20th May 2017, 21:56   #43 (permalink)
 
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I'm a professional pilot and I've been brilliantly looked after by the people in all the various ATC categories for more than 40 years.
I'm an old school pilot (obviously), and I think it's a terrible idea. Progress? ....
It depends what you see by progress. Anything that adds to an ATCO's situational awareness is a plus in my book. It's also a plus in my book that the tower controllers will have more interaction with the approach controllers (and vice versa).
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Old 20th May 2017, 22:03   #44 (permalink)
 
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With the number of manufacturers of remote tower equipment potentially increasing in number, how costly would it be to transfer from one manufacturer to another? Sensor and camera technology could be unique in design along with its interface with how the data is presented to the controller.

Any ATC service provider who was looking at taking LCY, would face a choice of embracing the current Saab equipment that is installed, which would be cheaper but could this pose a problem if the other service provider is perhaps accustomed with equipment from a different manufacturer?

Would the remote tower equipment at LCY belong to NATS or the airport? If it's the latter then could that perhaps add a further cost to any service provider that may ever look to knock NATS off their perch at LCY?
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Old 20th May 2017, 22:24   #45 (permalink)
 
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"It's also a plus in my book that the tower controllers will have more interaction with the approach controllers (and vice versa)."

Well that statement certainly nails you down as a member of 'management', good egg.

Because that's how it generally was back in the day, when approach and aerodrome controllers were co-located in the same building, oh, and cross-valid on both functions.........Before 'management' started meddling with it.

You couldn't make this up.
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Old 20th May 2017, 22:55   #46 (permalink)
 
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Well said, Zooker.
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Old 20th May 2017, 23:48   #47 (permalink)
 
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This could be the basis of NATS' thinking?
There's an oxymoron if I ever saw one!
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Old 21st May 2017, 06:32   #48 (permalink)
 
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Or even become the approach controller. Now that could be a good idea.
Already happening at some airfields where the tower controller is now allowed to vector traffic for the ILS at certain times, supposedly when it's not busy (but how long will THAT rule last?)
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Old 21st May 2017, 11:20   #49 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by ZOOKER View Post
"It's also a plus in my book that the tower controllers will have more interaction with the approach controllers (and vice versa)."

Well that statement certainly nails you down as a member of 'management', good egg.

Because that's how it generally was back in the day, when approach and aerodrome controllers were co-located in the same building, oh, and cross-valid on both functions.........Before 'management' started meddling with it.

You couldn't make this up.
Ah Zooker, there are plenty of good reasons why the approach functions for the bulk of TMA airfields were clumped together.

I'm presuming (I may be wrong here) that you see some logic in bringing those two functions closer together again?

Indeed cross-validation over the two functions seems eminently more practical again...given that they would be housed in the one location.
Such opportunities would be welcome, assuming the terms & conditions were right.

However, I doubt there will be a huge push for such a move any time soon. Crawling before walking springs to mind.
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Old 21st May 2017, 12:05   #50 (permalink)
 
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When the move of the radar units to LATCC took place I don't think any operational ATCO saw benefits, even less when new controllers were posted in. None had dual validations; some had only one rating! What a way to run a group of major airfields? Still, the important thing is the bosses got their whopping bonuses!
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Old 21st May 2017, 12:08   #51 (permalink)
 
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When the move of the radar units to LATCC took place I don't think any operational ATCO saw benefits, even less when new controllers were posted in. None had dual validations; some had only one rating! What a way to run a group of major airfields? Still, the important thing is the bosses got their whopping bonuses!
So how is this now viewed by operational ATCOs?
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Old 21st May 2017, 12:11   #52 (permalink)
 
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...........any four-pixel moving dot that could be anything from a passing helicopter to a drone* – the system can automatically zoom in and track it, with a pop-up inset window on the video cityscape."
(my asterisk)

* What about seagulls ?

The servo motors on those cameras are going to wear out quickly !
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Old 21st May 2017, 16:05   #53 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by good egg View Post
Ah Zooker, there are plenty of good reasons why the approach functions for the bulk of TMA airfields were clumped together.

I'm presuming (I may be wrong here) that you see some logic in bringing those two functions closer together again?

Indeed cross-validation over the two functions seems eminently more practical again...given that they would be housed in the one location.
Such opportunities would be welcome, assuming the terms & conditions were right.

However, I doubt there will be a huge push for such a move any time soon. Crawling before walking springs to mind.
Ah good Egg the naivety of the young!!!mwhen the approach functions were moved to West Drayton in 1993 (Gatwick and Heathrow), Satnsted 1995, Luton around 1998ish,the reasoning was anything but sound.

Controllers with 2 validations, tower and radar, suddenly had 1, the approach controllers, and there were loads of us ending up doing split shifts until a plan was decided. Cross validations, of course, but again there was no planning, and still isn't. Essex radar should also do Luton, and gatwick should do thames, alas the mix is somewhat befuddled with some Gatwick doing Hearhrow, Luton and gatwick, Essex and Thames.

The advantage of approach in the same room as TMA? Well the big advantage at west Drayton, was that I got to play cricket for LATCC, and the comfy chairs in the rest room were better. Down here at Swanwick the advantage is living in the New forest!!!
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Old 21st May 2017, 16:12   #54 (permalink)
 
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Good point, Uplinker,

Without checking MATS Pt.1, I'm fairly certain that bird activity still constitutes 'Essential Aerodrome Information'?

Especially in an 'estuarine' location such as EGLC?
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Old 21st May 2017, 17:01   #55 (permalink)
 
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This chitchat is very amusing.

Do you not think that with each additional tool (on top of "merely" reproducing the visual image) that time will have been spent addressing all these (valid) concerns?
Is it likely that they'd have overlooked such obvious issues as birds during the design and testing phases?
I doubt it.

I can't help but think that the single consistent issue is reproducing the visuals on screens rather than looking out of the windows - with all the resiliency and redundancy necessary - even more so when this is located remotely (which brings in much wider issues, not least of which is staff relocation).
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Old 21st May 2017, 19:28   #56 (permalink)
 
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Seems a 'letter-box' view....What about the overhead?

Are you 'BDiONU', good egg?

It's not that amusing, really.......

The safety of the travelling public, and those whom they have paid good money to travel over, are the issues here.

Who are "they", good egg?

Last edited by ZOOKER; 21st May 2017 at 20:12.
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Old 21st May 2017, 19:47   #57 (permalink)
 
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Nimmer. Don't know if you came across this classic after the "split": I was at TC and AIR ARR rang about a go-around which was in conflict with a departure off the other runway. I told the controller to put the departure on a heading... "I can't do that; I don't have a radar rating".

At what was Europe's busiest airport the tower controllers couldn't issue headings!! I trust that this has been sorted out by now?
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Old 21st May 2017, 19:52   #58 (permalink)
 
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Yep, tower controllers without a radar rating, can issue headings when instructed by radar. There were a few interesting scenarios when we split off wasn't there??

All is good now though, of course.
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Old 21st May 2017, 21:28   #59 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by ZOOKER View Post
Seems a 'letter-box' view....What about the overhead?

Are you 'BDiONU', good egg?

It's not that amusing, really.......

The safety of the travelling public, and those whom they have paid good money to travel over, are the issues here.

Who are "they", good egg?
Ummmm, what about the overhead? In a conventional tower the overhead is covered by a ceiling with zero opportunity to see what's going on...with this technology a PTZ camera can offer that view.

No, I'm not.

The point of this technology is that it offers superior safety, through better views and increased situational awareness for controllers.
Should we shun these potential improvements?

The "they" I referred to are the developers of the technology. They develop to a potential market, based on what that market's requirements are.
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Old 21st May 2017, 22:52   #60 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by good egg View Post
Ummmm, what about the overhead? In a conventional tower the overhead is covered by a ceiling with zero opportunity to see what's going on...with this technology a PTZ camera can offer that view.

No, I'm not.

The point of this technology is that it offers superior safety, through better views and increased situational awareness for controllers.
Should we shun these potential improvements?

The "they" I referred to are the developers of the technology. They develop to a potential market, based on what that market's requirements are.
Surely, then, these benefits from modern technology should be available to Tower controllers who are actually situated at the airport concerned. Why do they need to be situated at a remote site ? It needs one ATCO to perform ADC for the airport concerned whether or not he is sited at the airport. So, why bother to site him remotely ?
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