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Old 20th May 2017, 14:13   #21 (permalink)
 
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If EGLC tower proves it can be done as safely and efficiently etc from Hampshire, can it not be done as safely and efficiently from say Spain? Or Latvia? Poland? One assumes as long as you have the secure data connection, and trained staff it would be no issue. Cost savings would definitely be more apparent in those locations.

Also, did someone decide "Digital" was more palatable to the masses than "Remote"?
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Old 20th May 2017, 15:27   #22 (permalink)
 
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Thinking about the Met Office, who is going to make Wx observations when the controllers are miles away?
At many units now, the task of 'met observer' has now been passed on to ATC staff. The observations have an impact on the way each airfield operates, and therefore must be accurate.
Who will be trained to make the METAR obs when the remote-tower is up and running?
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Old 20th May 2017, 15:47   #23 (permalink)
 
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Airfield ops or even worse, just put AUTO METAR into action like at EGLL!
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Old 20th May 2017, 18:54   #24 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by ZOOKER View Post
Thinking about the Met Office, who is going to make Wx observations when the controllers are miles away?
At many units now, the task of 'met observer' has now been passed on to ATC staff. The observations have an impact on the way each airfield operates, and therefore must be accurate.
Who will be trained to make the METAR obs when the remote-tower is up and running?
Most NATS towers nowadays have a Part Automatic or Semi Automatic Met observation system - PAMOS or SAMOS - I don't know what the difference is.
Assistants still have to verify the ob is correct and determine the type of precipitation if any for which they do a special course not as complex as the Met Observer Course.
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Old 20th May 2017, 20:47   #25 (permalink)
 
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In the event of an RTF failure, how will the Aldis Lamp work?
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Old 20th May 2017, 21:41   #26 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by ZOOKER View Post
...the content of the observations and accuracy of the forecasts are not a patch on what was available previously.

...However, this seems another part of an insidious erosion of the responsibilities and skill-sets of the ATCO profession...
Hi Zooker

Any statistical data to back up your first assertion regarding the Met Office? Or is it purely subjective?

On the other point I've quoted...why would digital towers be an erosion of the responsibilities and skill-sets of ATCOs?
It's the same job, with the same responsibilities.
The technology involved offers more situational awareness for the ATCOs, which is a good thing surely?
Every ATCO makes mistakes at work. Tools which make it less likely for ATCOs to make mistakes, and for ATCOs to make more timely interventions when things go wrong, are surely a good thing.
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Old 21st May 2017, 06:25   #27 (permalink)
 
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Every ATCO makes mistakes at work. Tools which make it less likely for ATCOs to make mistakes, and for ATCOs to make more timely interventions when things go wrong, are surely a good thing.
I thought you were an ATCO.
ATCOs do NOT make mistakes at work, only at home or when driving the wife somewhere.
NB If I could figure out how to attach a smiley, I would.
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Old 21st May 2017, 06:36   #28 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Islandlad View Post
1 How do you judge the level of rain from a digital tower?

2 Really? (I am not against remote towers for some operations)

3 What is in the new 'tower' that is new tech or could not be put into the old one. 30 years is not old for a UK tower.

Do you have an aldis lamp now? Will you have a digital one in LCY TWR 2?

Are you going to have virtual early goes?
1. That's fairly simple Zooker. It's not like observers at Stansted or Luton step out onto the balcony and put their hand out to gauge the rain...
That's what Met observers are trained to judge, using a variety of available indications.

2. Yes (In my opinion)

3. For one, you can't put flight labels on windows, nor can you put map overlays on them, and plenty more good reasons.

An ALDIS lamp is a basic requirement today (though as I understand it not all airfields have them??). If you'd looked around the subject I'm sure you'd have noticed that a Light Signal Gun attached to a PTZ camera can fulfil this requirement.
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Old 21st May 2017, 06:46   #29 (permalink)
 
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"Flight labels on windows"

What's all this?? AS for Aldis lamps, at most airfields they went out with the ark and I doubt very much if pilots of heavy jets know much about them nowadays.
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Old 21st May 2017, 07:30   #30 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by HEATHROW DIRECTOR View Post
"Flight labels on windows"

What's all this?? AS for Aldis lamps, at most airfields they went out with the ark and I doubt very much if pilots of heavy jets know much about them nowadays.
When you visit Blackbushe later today, ask them if they still have an Aldis lamp. I think you'll find they do; we certainly have one at Fairoaks but Farnborough ditched theirs in the move to the 'new' (Mk 4) tower in 2002.
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Old 21st May 2017, 09:57   #31 (permalink)
 
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Every aerodrome that I ever worked at had a signal lamp - whether literally an Aldis or not. For zero upkeep, just occasionally, they are useful - for communication with WIP, if not aircraft. They certainly did not go out with the ark and it is a blinkered view to suggest that they did. Pilots of "heavy jets" most certainly should know the meanings of light signals, which are enshrined in SERA in the case of Europe.
As regards the additional technology that is available with a digital control tower, there is no doubt that it might well be useful as an add-on in a proper (conventional) tower, but not exactly vital.
The one question that I see Nats avoiding - or perhaps I have missed it - is WHY? There has to be an ulterior motive, knowing them, and it certainly will not be to enhance the status or conditions for the controllers.
The one necessary HF still to be addressed is the injection of JetA1 and freshly mown grass into the air conditioning - oh, and a genuine enthusiasm for aircraft in tomorrow's controllers.

2 s
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Old 21st May 2017, 09:58   #32 (permalink)
 
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In the event of an RTF failure, how will the Aldis Lamp work?


Mr Zooker, you really are showing your age, the last time Iused an Aldis lamp the intended recipient called me and asked"wots that red light on the tower",which I suppose one could argue had the desired effect.
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Old 21st May 2017, 11:13   #33 (permalink)
 
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Mr Zooker, you really are showing your age
or possibly, his experience, wisdom and healthy scepticism. Slightly less than polite to counter a reasonable query with a comment like that.

2 s
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Old 21st May 2017, 22:47   #34 (permalink)
 
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Hi good egg

This whole scenario sadly reminds me of a comment made by one of our senior ATCOs, many years ago.

"If NATS wanted a dog, they wouldn't buy a dog.......They'd buy a cat, and teach it to bark".

2359........Watch continues.
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Old 22nd May 2017, 17:17   #35 (permalink)
 
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Hi, good egg.

Apologies for the delay in replying, but sadly, I have no statistical data to back up my assertions that the Met Office have lost the plot.

Just a lifelong interest in meteorology.

But, it's hardly surprising, is it, considering the paucity of the data they're now having to work with?
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Old 22nd May 2017, 22:51   #36 (permalink)
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I wonder what the control tower is worth as a bijou residence?
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Old 23rd May 2017, 05:54   #37 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by ZOOKER View Post
Hi, good egg.

Apologies for the delay in replying, but sadly, I have no statistical data to back up my assertions that the Met Office have lost the plot.

Just a lifelong interest in meteorology.

But, it's hardly surprising, is it, considering the paucity of the data they're now having to work with?
Ummmm, why would they have any less data now than before? Each reporting station still reports the weather doesn't it?

In fact the Met Office use many more sources of data than ever before in order to produce their forecasts. The list of their sources continues to grow, not shrink, as time passes...because added information, or situational awareness, is beneficial for them too.

I'm guessing this thread drift is about a perceived loss of local knowledge and how that might be detrimental??
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Old 23rd May 2017, 06:03   #38 (permalink)
 
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I wonder what the control tower is worth as a bijou residence?
Not much I'd have thought. Gaining access to it (being airside), and its upkeep costs would be prohibitive for starters...
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