PPRuNe Forums


ATC Issues A place where pilots may enter the 'lions den' that is Air Traffic Control in complete safety and find out the answers to all those obscure topics which you always wanted to know the answer to but were afraid to ask.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 22nd May 2017, 19:06   #81 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The foot of Mt. Belzoni.
Posts: 1,757
120 miles........??

Is EGLCZT moving to Cornwall?
ZOOKER is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd May 2017, 19:06   #82 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Rapunzel's tower
Posts: 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gonzo View Post
The world moves on, constantly.

"Ahh, procedural control...."
"Ahh, Primary radar..."
"Ahh, Secondary radar Mode A...."
"Ahh, Mode C"
"Ahh, Mode S"
"Ahh, datalink clearances"
Ad infinitum

The reasons for the City remote operation have been discussed in this and other threads.

It will be fantastic to see how these tools develop over the years. Looking forward to seeing how I can help make them work.

However, it will be interesting to see how the UTP for new trainees and valid controllers handle ongoing familiarisation with the airport itself, and how the relationship between controllers/ATC Ops and other airport employees (airside ops, ground crews etc) develops once there are 120 miles between them.
Yes indeed, closer links between tower and approach, extended links between tower and the airport (in this case).
Managing those changes in relationships is likely to be a big factor.
Bigger, I'd guess, than the relationship between an ALDIS lamp and a PTZ Light Signal gun...
good egg is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd May 2017, 19:12   #83 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The foot of Mt. Belzoni.
Posts: 1,757
But Gonzo,

BK, down at airspace planning seems to think that NATS is going back to the procedural days..........'ATC Systemisation'?
ZOOKER is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd May 2017, 19:56   #84 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Rapunzel's tower
Posts: 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZOOKER View Post
But Gonzo,

BK, down at airspace planning seems to think that NATS is going back to the procedural days..........'ATC Systemisation'?
Crikey, that's a bit of a leap for this topic...perhaps a new thread would be more appropriate to voice your concerns?
good egg is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd May 2017, 20:14   #85 (permalink)

 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: LHR/EGLL
Age: 38
Posts: 4,141
Quote:
Originally Posted by good egg View Post
than the relationship between an ALDIS lamp and a PTZ Light Signal gun...
Don't know what you're talking about old chap, we've managed without a signal lamp for years! You're stuck in the past!
Gonzo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd May 2017, 20:19   #86 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Rapunzel's tower
Posts: 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gonzo View Post
Don't know what you're talking about old chap, we've managed without a signal lamp for years! You're stuck in the past!
Well, to be fair, there are airfields that don't rely on heavy jets (HD). And also airfields that use said equipment on a regular basis in order to (possibly) prevent unnecessary missed approaches (quite apart from regulatory requirements...)
good egg is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd May 2017, 20:26   #87 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The foot of Mt. Belzoni.
Posts: 1,757
But do the ATCOs at said airfields control a/c at other locations..........Simultaneously, good egg?
ZOOKER is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd May 2017, 20:44   #88 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The foot of Mt. Belzoni.
Posts: 1,757
ATC is a bit like 'Space-time', good egg...........A continuum.
ZOOKER is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd May 2017, 21:15   #89 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: jersey
Age: 67
Posts: 852
Quote:
Originally Posted by good egg View Post
This feels like Groundhog Day all over. Same answers (from me, my personal opinion) as above/as stated in other threads on this topic.
I don't know what the ultimate objective might be, if there is one. I can speculate, like anyone can. I could offer a ton of reasons why the current VCR is not fit for purpose "going forward" - for want of a better term!
But each battle should be weighed up on the pros and cons.
There's little point in limiting progress for the sake of it. Where the benefit outweighs the cost then progress should be made. When the benefit doesn't outweigh the cost then a line has to be drawn.
Where that line is is disputable on a subjective front. On an objective front it is more measurable.
Both measures are important, of course, but the balance of both - in particular with regards to safety should surely rule?
No airport, no ANSP, no regulator would accept anything less, and nor should it.
Safety is always the priority, despite market pressures.

Safety is assured on the probability of failure, and what the mitigations are for said failure - which is why current systems operate the way they do. Until a system is proved reliable it isn't accepted. Hence the time it takes for a system to be tested until it is proved reliable (and, that in the case of failure, the fallback measures are safe).
I am sorry if I have constructed "Groundhog Day", but I didn't really see the earlier posts. I will endeavour to read them.
You say that nothing in this proposition indicates anything of the sort ie reducing staff by getting one ATCO to do two ATCOs' work. Maybe not, but I struggle to see the possible benefits & savings if it does not involve cutting staff.
As you say, "there may be a ton of reasons why the current VCR is not fit for purpose". But, why can't either a new VCR be built, or the remote operation be exercised from, within the LCY complex?
I don't wish to "limit progress for the sake of it", but the whole ethos of ATC, as I was educated in it, appears to be under threat here. Either principles have changed drastically, or these principles have been abandoned (apparently under cost pressures). If so, I cannot imagine why they should have been & I am surprised that a body such as the Guild Of ATC has not been active in trying to uphold them. Does it still exist ?
"Until a system is proved reliable, it isn't accepted". I have to ask exactly how was this proof obtained ?
It is difficult to assess the benefits from my viewpoint - although, I accept that things may have moved on since my day. If so, I guess that I will have to accept that I am just a dinosaur !
kcockayne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd May 2017, 21:17   #90 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Rapunzel's tower
Posts: 312
Zooker, I'm guessing you see this move (LCY to Swanwick) as a precursor for tower controllers simultaneously controlling more than one airfield/runway?
That is a valid concern - and one which would face fierce opposition I'm sure.
But there's no suggestion, certainly from what I've read/seen, that anyone is saying that LCY controllers would have to get dual-valid at a.n.other airfield and provide both services simultaneously.
Probably be better to stick to facts rather than fiction. Should such a hypothetical situation be the case then that's the time to challenge it.
As the case is, it's a question of whether a controller can operate using video rather than seeing out of a set of windows. That point has been proven (albeit at lower intensity airfields).
If it's safe to do it at low intensity airfields what's to prevent it being used at high intensity airfields?
A low intensity airfield might involve 3 aircraft an hour, but they could be concentrated in a 3 minute period - what's to prevent that same 3 minute period being replicated 20 times in an hour?
If it's safe to do it's safe to do.
It's the same job, regardless of the scale. If the equipment is fit for use, and the controllers are suitably trained, then the bigger question is why not, rather than why?
good egg is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd May 2017, 21:29   #91 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The foot of Mt. Belzoni.
Posts: 1,757
Will this require a separate rating?...............ADI/ADV/ADS?
ZOOKER is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd May 2017, 21:54   #92 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Rapunzel's tower
Posts: 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcockayne View Post
I am sorry if I have constructed "Groundhog Day", but I didn't really see the earlier posts. I will endeavour to read them.
You say that nothing in this proposition indicates anything of the sort ie reducing staff by getting one ATCO to do two ATCOs' work. Maybe not, but I struggle to see the possible benefits & savings if it does not involve cutting staff.
As you say, "there may be a ton of reasons why the current VCR is not fit for purpose". But, why can't either a new VCR be built, or the remote operation be exercised from, within the LCY complex?
I don't wish to "limit progress for the sake of it", but the whole ethos of ATC, as I was educated in it, appears to be under threat here. Either principles have changed drastically, or these principles have been abandoned (apparently under cost pressures). If so, I cannot imagine why they should have been & I am surprised that a body such as the Guild Of ATC has not been active in trying to uphold them. Does it still exist ?
"Until a system is proved reliable, it isn't accepted". I have to ask exactly how was this proof obtained ?
It is difficult to assess the benefits from my viewpoint - although, I accept that things may have moved on since my day. If so, I guess that I will have to accept that I am just a dinosaur !
Kcockayne, I'm an advocate of experience (believe it or not!).
There are lots of ways that sharing of experience helps...whether we're talking about valid ATCOs or trainees.
GATCO does provide opinions on such subjects...and I'm pretty sure they're opposed to simultaneous operations too, from what I've seen (quite rightly, in my opinion).

I am purely guessing here, but there are opportunities provided by co-locating APC with ADC. If APC is short, for whatever reason, by a controller what does that mean for arrival regulation to said airfield? What if ADC was short, for whatever reason, by a controller what does that mean for arrival regulation?
If the difference between the two arrival regulations is significant then maybe it'd be worth cross-validating controllers? Just a thought....
good egg is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd May 2017, 05:21   #93 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Rapunzel's tower
Posts: 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZOOKER View Post
Will this require a separate rating?...............ADI/ADV/ADS?
I sincerely hope not - especially for the controllers involved - that would surely limit their (future) ability to transfer jobs to other (non-digital) airports.

I can't see why it would require another rating. It's the same job, with the same responsibilities, using the same skills.

As far as I know there's not a separate rating for it in Sweden.
good egg is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd May 2017, 15:29   #94 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: UK
Posts: 824
According to Wikipedia, NATS is a private/public partnership, 49% owned by the UK Government. This means that whoever has the 51% stake will be keen to maximise profits, but the Government probably are too, to help reduce the Country's deficit.

Having a remotely operated Tower is presumably their beancounter's way of doing this - if they can make it work. They will have to pay for the technology once but will save thousands of pounds in London staff wages etc, year on year, and will no doubt roll it out to other airfields.

Instead of each Tower needing its own extra controllers to cover shifts, leave, and sickness etc, one set of spare controllers could cover several Towers controlled from the same room at Swanwick. I don't know the figures so am going to pluck some out of the air and guess at 10 controllers for a small airfield Tower - so say four Towers that used to need a total of 40 staff could be remotely controlled by a complement of say 20 staff at Swanwick?

My figures might be way off but the principle is what I am talking about.

Someone on this thread said the Met office now use remote sensing instead of experts 'on the ground', and I think their forecasts are worse than they used to be. Where I live, they are often plain wrong. I fear this will happen with NATS. En route controller frequencies are already getting busier and busier because more and more traffic is being controlled by fewer and fewer contollers, to the detriment of the service and flight safety.

No amount of cameras, automatic drone spotters and other gizmos can make up for the situational awareness that comes from actually sitting in the Tower with one's binoculars - seeing the Red Arrows cross your airspace, observing the storm clouds in the far distance, watching the police, ambulance or traffic helicopter and all manner of SA clues and cues that you just won't get in the same way on a couple of HD screens.

And of course, when the video links go down - and they will !! - What then ??

Last edited by Uplinker; 23rd May 2017 at 15:40.
Uplinker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd May 2017, 17:47   #95 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Rapunzel's tower
Posts: 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uplinker View Post
No amount of cameras, automatic drone spotters and other gizmos can make up for the situational awareness that comes from actually sitting in the Tower with one's binoculars - seeing the Red Arrows cross your airspace, observing the storm clouds in the far distance, watching the police, ambulance or traffic helicopter and all manner of SA clues and cues that you just won't get in the same way on a couple of HD screens.

And of course, when the video links go down - and they will !! - What then ??
But you will see the Red Arrows, the storm clouds and all the helicopters you mention!

Your point about the visuals failing is the important one. The redundancy and resiliency of the system is key. If the visuals did fail then the fallback is effectively LVPs - which would certainly affect capacity until the visuals became serviceable again.

Losing visuals and comms would effectively shut the airport. But then losing comms would effectively shut the airport with its traditional tower too.
good egg is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd May 2017, 17:57   #96 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Around
Posts: 300
What about depth perception? Is that just overrated?
rodan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd May 2017, 18:03   #97 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The foot of Mt. Belzoni.
Posts: 1,757
Related to depth perception is parallax.
ZOOKER is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd May 2017, 18:35   #98 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 6,709
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uplinker View Post
And of course, when the video links go down - and they will !! - What then ??
The NATS rep interviewed on TV last week made great play of the fact that there would be no fewer than 3 diverse comms links between LCY and Swanwick to provide redundancy/fallback.

She omitted any mention of the obvious single-point failure modes, not least the camera installation.
DaveReidUK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd May 2017, 18:57   #99 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The foot of Mt. Belzoni.
Posts: 1,757
"But then losing comms would effectively shut the airport with its traditional tower too.

Not necessarily, good egg.

The airfield I worked at had an 'ECU', an Emergency Control Unit. It was a 'Portakabin', located a considerable distance from the control tower, from which an Aerodrome/Approach Control Service could be provided in the event of the main facility becoming unusable.

Many years ago, contractors had to remove asbestos from the control tower building and many of us provided Aerodrome Control from this facility for an entire week-end.

I believe EGLL has the digital equivalent of this facility today......In my book, an acceptable use of this technology.

Many years ago, a comms failure at EGNX resulted in one of the ATCO providing a very limited service using the radio in a light a/c parked in front of the tower.
ZOOKER is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd May 2017, 19:00   #100 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Rapunzel's tower
Posts: 312
That's great Zooker, but I'm fairly certain LCY doesn't have that facility.
good egg is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT. The time now is 05:26.


1996-2012 The Professional Pilots Rumour Network

SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1