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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.

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Old 19th May 2017, 07:30   #1 (permalink)
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London City ATC news today

Um, I don't know what to say. I don't fly at all now but the idea of no one in the tower is a hard one to cope with.
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Old 19th May 2017, 07:46   #2 (permalink)
 
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I agree psychologically; but is it so different from ROC's on the railways instead of a signalman at your local station.
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Old 19th May 2017, 08:09   #3 (permalink)
 
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LCY Remote Tower
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Old 19th May 2017, 09:13   #4 (permalink)
 
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Out of interest do remote towers replicate the view from an existing tower- not always optimum of course but familiar and a clear bench mark or do they allow enhanced fields of view such as close to holding points or busy ramp areas so a remote controller can get a close up view from different sites around the airfield
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Old 19th May 2017, 10:06   #5 (permalink)
 
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I just don't see the point. Will it cut costs? Somehow, I'm not all that convinced that it will. I wonder what it will cost in delays when one of the "high tech" cameras goes u/s and has to be fixed before ops can resume?
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Old 19th May 2017, 12:08   #6 (permalink)
 
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The cost saving should come from having controllers working from a central pool managed by fewer managers. LCY will gain from having more space available from aicraft parking. I also hope that a centralised pool should enhance promotion for controllers and providing relocation packages are properly put together, an improved quality of life and a stable home platform. But cynics amongst us know that software, hardware and communication gremlins will stuff things up in ways we can not imaging. And if NATS is run like any other business, they will screw their workers over at every opportunity but... this time controllers can shut down multiple airports. They will now have more industrial power than ever.

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Old 19th May 2017, 12:19   #7 (permalink)
 
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The cost saving should come from having controllers working from a central pool managed by fewer managers. LCY will gain from having more space available from aicraft parking. I also hope that a centralised pool should enhance promotion for controllers and providing relocation packages are properly put together, an improved quality of life and a stable home platform. But cynics amongst us know that software, hardware and communication gremlins will stuff things up in ways we can not imaging. And if NATS is run like any other business, they will screw their workers over at every opportunity but... this time controllers can shut down multiple airports. They will now have more industrial power than ever.

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If and I repeat IF it's done from Swanwick the wage bill will rocket as City is Band 2 as opposed to Swanwick Band 5. If it's done from Whitely instead I assume the 'Western Radar' guys are on a lower band.
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Old 19th May 2017, 12:24   #8 (permalink)
 
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I note with intrigue there are many very negative comments and overall skepticism from the general public judging from the HYS comments on the BBC article.
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Old 19th May 2017, 13:43   #9 (permalink)

 
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Chevvron, do you know for sure that this is the case now, or even if it is do you know it will be so in 2019? Yes, it has been so in the past, but things have changed a lot in the past eight years.

HT and Piltdown Man, why should it be the ANSP instigating this? Perhaps there are no substantial benefits to the ANSP, but if it's what the customer wants.............
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Old 19th May 2017, 14:01   #10 (permalink)
 
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If and I repeat IF it's done from Swanwick the wage bill will rocket as City is Band 2 as opposed to Swanwick Band 5. If it's done from Whitely instead I assume the 'Western Radar' guys are on a lower band.
That's a misconception, just because it was done like that in the past doesn't mean it will continue to be like that.
Following your logic then, the "Western Radar" guys should be paid like the college instructors who are also based at CTC, and we know it's not the case!
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Old 19th May 2017, 14:41   #11 (permalink)
 
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As potty an idea as I have heard in a long while. They will still need the same number of controllers as they do currently, so there will be no cost saving in terms of personnel costs. Until someone decides that, as the staff are not overworked on the LCY duties, they can control somewhere else in between flights.
They say they have connected the airport to (presumably) Swanick via 3 different fibre cables. So, do they own those cables? If so, there will have been a huge outlay on digging, routing, laying etc attending the cables. If not, and I suspect this will be the case, they will probably end up renting time on the cables from BT. And I know from experience that data to and from London can be routed via a 3rd point. And that 3rd point could possibly be on a different continent! Unless you pay a premium to guarantee a shorter routing. I have known data links between 2 points a couple of miles apart within London to be routed via Chicago during busy periods. So, presumably this will add to the costs in order to avoid the long delays, gaps etc.
It is claimed they will have 14 CCTV cameras plus 2 more with pan, tilt and zoom. That doesn't exactly smack of great flexibility.
Getting rid of the existing tower gives no extra space at the airport as it will be replaced by an even bigger one.
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Old 19th May 2017, 17:54   #12 (permalink)
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I feel very uncomfortable. When everything goes tits up, knowing someone with a pair of binoculars and an r/t standing on the balcony seems sensible. Ok, my early flying did involve a man with a Very pistol and technology has moved on since the 1950s. But even so. I'm glad I'm nearer my grave than my skills test.
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Old 19th May 2017, 19:11   #13 (permalink)
 
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I heard they are going to introduce circular runways at London City also!!
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Old 19th May 2017, 22:55   #14 (permalink)
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Aw nimmer, yur jest funnin me nau!
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Old 20th May 2017, 00:42   #15 (permalink)
 
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<<Out of interest do remote towers replicate the view from an existing tower- not always optimum of course but familiar and a clear bench mark or do they allow enhanced fields of view such as close to holding points or busy ramp areas so a remote controller can get a close up view from different sites around the airfield>>
Technically they can do both. The HungaoControl remote tower project in Budapest consists of tower views, plus other cameras to provide zoomed in views of operationally important areas, as well as integration of A-SMGCS data, allowing flight data to be displayed alongside aircraft on the screens.
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Old 20th May 2017, 06:23   #16 (permalink)
 
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Not sure if this makes operational sense but you can be sure somebody thinks they can make money out of it otherwise it would not be happening.
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Old 20th May 2017, 08:01   #17 (permalink)
 
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The whole idea of "Remote Towers" is madness; driven by a "we can do it, so we will" philosophy. Management is seduced into it by a mistaken idea that it will save them money & a touching faith in technology & a total misunderstanding of the principles of ATC. Cherished, & appropriate professional standards, are ditched with gay abandon.
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Old 20th May 2017, 08:42   #18 (permalink)
 
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It reminds me of a headline that appeared on the front page of 'Transmit' during the 1990s.............'De-skilling the profession?".

Watch continues......
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Old 20th May 2017, 09:22   #19 (permalink)
 
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It reminds me of a headline that appeared on the front page of 'Transmit' during the 1990s.............'De-skilling the profession?".

Watch continues......
In what way would it de-skill the profession??
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Old 20th May 2017, 11:06   #20 (permalink)
 
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Well, I hope I'm wrong good egg, but there seems to be a parallel with this idea with what has happened at The Met Office.

Years ago, there were observers and forecasters in situ at various locations across The U.K. The quality of observation and prediction was very good.

Then, everyone de-camped to a bunker down in The West Country and all the 'local-knowledge' which aided the task was gone. In spite of all the 'remote-sensing' kit they now have, the content of the observations and accuracy of the forecasts are not a patch on what was available previously.

On a different note, I have never driven an articulated HGV and admire those who can, but in the last few months I've seen 3 of them stuck in the middle of a Cheshire village because they were relying on their 'new-technology', rather than looking out of the cab windows.

Hopefully, for the sake of those who will be tasked with operating this, I'll be proved wrong.However, this seems another part of an insidious erosion of the responsibilities and skill-sets of the ATCO profession, which began before the headline I mentioned above was written. Many of those involved in these decisions have little or no experience at the 'sharp-end' of aviation.

It has been discussed elsewhere on PPRuNe and described as "A solution looking for a problem".......Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope it isn't.

Wasn't it one of The Red Barron's right-hand men who, during a tour of Swanwick, made a remark that it was 'nothing more than a call-centre', or words to that effect?
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