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Combined radar and tower

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Combined radar and tower

Old 15th Feb 2014, 18:01
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Combined radar and tower

Talking to a guy the other day who said this system is being trialled in Scotland? How does it work and what are the benefits??
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Old 15th Feb 2014, 18:41
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Are you sure it wasn't approach and tower? Because I've never heard of tower and radar, in fact it's a complete no go.
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Old 15th Feb 2014, 19:31
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Surely if it's Approach and Tower it wouldn't be being trialled as it is already in use in many places!
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Old 15th Feb 2014, 19:32
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It is tower and radar, I think Belfast has been doing it at night for a while now.
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Old 15th Feb 2014, 19:34
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No Sylo it is RIT Radar in the tower. Now perfectly legal (subject to certain conditions being met).

It is in use at Belfast Aldergrove.

Benefits? Take a mad stab.....clue the answer includes costs and staffing.
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Old 16th Feb 2014, 01:26
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Now perfectly legal (subject to certain conditions being met).
Just curious but what are the rules that have changed?
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Old 16th Feb 2014, 04:20
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Many towers have had what is now called an 'Aerodrome Traffic Monitor' (ATM), formerly 'Distance From Touchdown Indicator' (DFTI) for over 40 years. Uses are strictly limited to monitoring spacing on final approach and position of visual circuit traffic, however controllers with ADI and APS ratings are not permitted to vector traffic using it, but they may pass generic traffic information derived from it, so it's not a new system being trialled.
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Old 16th Feb 2014, 04:31
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Chevron....wrong. Do you ever read posts before leaping in?


The system now allows for vectoring on the ATM which is an exact repeater of the "main" radar.

Like you I am no longer valid BUT I will get hold of the rules and post the essentials when I speak to my old watch.....couple of days max.

It was just being introduced as I left...I naturally paid no attention to it
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Old 16th Feb 2014, 08:00
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Trials ongoing at EGAA and imminent or just starting at EGPF.

I am surprised it has taken so long for it to be introduced for the night traffic hours.
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Old 16th Feb 2014, 10:21
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Shows you I'm a bit out of touch.
So if the ATM has to be an exact repeater of the main radar, presumably at places like Luton and Farnborough where the ATM has south at the top it can't be done.
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Old 16th Feb 2014, 10:34
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No reason why a second north-up screen can't be installed or, given the light traffic levels I'm assuming are necessary for this to be permissible, switch the picture on the ATM to north-up for the duration of approach-radar ops.
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Old 16th Feb 2014, 10:55
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Watch this space, this is about to happen across the board (where the CAA will approve it) because it can reduce staffing costs long term. Management will love it. Couple it with electronic strips and then the night ATSA disappears too...........not good. And another thing!!!!!! ATCO's doing night MET obs..........not good.....again!
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Old 16th Feb 2014, 11:36
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ATM's which are south facing are being turned so they face north!!!!

Only one reason to do radar from the tower, cost saving!!! You can cut your night manning by 50%.
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Old 16th Feb 2014, 11:53
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WIP . Night ATSA is a distant memory at EGAA .ATCO has been doing met for a couple of years now.

Part of the reality of having to fight to retain contracts in NSL.
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Old 16th Feb 2014, 12:04
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You can cut your night manning by 50%
30%, perhaps. Or is some creative SRATCOH accounting possible?

Watch this space, this is about to happen across the board (where the CAA will approve it) because it can reduce staffing costs long term. Management will love it. Couple it with electronic strips and then the night ATSA disappears too...........not good. And another thing!!!!!! ATCO's doing night MET obs..........not good.....again!
If the traffic levels enable these other things to be done without detracting from the primary task, what's the problem? Or should a controller just sit quietly doing nothing but waiting for the next aeroplane to call in half an hour whilst somebody else does the weather or makes the tea? I recall the really tiresome night shifts where there was nowt to do but sit there bored to distraction.

If something can be done safely and reliably with fewer people, why not? What shouldn't happen is that management cut staffing to levels where the primary tasks cannot be done satisfactorily. But that's what the safety regulators are there to prevent.....isn't it?
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Old 16th Feb 2014, 12:31
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Just ANOTHER example of "sacrosanct" procedures or requirements which have been "No Go Areas" for decades suddenly becoming approved because of expediency - primarily cost cutting.
It makes me weep. All those years not doing it & now, suddenly, its all OK; & we could have been doing it all the time .
Please explain why; & what has now changed to enable it to be done safely.
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Old 16th Feb 2014, 15:33
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Tried to look at ANO Schedule !0 last night, but it has been deleted and replaced by CAP744. Lots of information, but it does say……

"The Aerodrome Radar Control endorsement shall not permit the aerodrome controller to use the surveillance radar equipment in any way that will detract from the primary task of providing an aerodrome control service by visual observation of aerodrome traffic".

Sorry Guv', I didn't see the vehicle stray on to the runway/Aerodrome Ground Incident*, I was too busy vectoring a few inbounds.

*delete as applicable
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Old 16th Feb 2014, 15:56
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@lookingforajob,

I don't know which unit you are/were based at but where I work you don't get half an hr with no traffic to put your feet up and make a brew........I wish! As a dual valid controller working nights at a busy airfield, tower duties involve more than just aircraft calls. Night duties involve lots of vehicle activity due to constant work in progress and non standard complex procedures on a regular basis. Having controlled at a couple of units I can say that it might work at some units, but not everywhere. It simple isn't safe in my opinion.
Once the staffing is cut it won't be re-introduced thats for sure.
Put bad weather and an emergency into the frame and trust me, when your work loads has doubled you would prefer to have an ATSA and an extra ATCO on duty to help!
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Old 16th Feb 2014, 16:20
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Zooker
Quite so. Whatever conditions are placed on the operation, how do you guard against precisely what you describe?

2 s
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Old 16th Feb 2014, 16:55
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I don't know which unit you are/were based at but where I work you don't get half an hr with no traffic to put your feet up and make a brew........I wish! As a dual valid controller working nights at a busy airfield, tower duties involve more than just aircraft calls. Night duties involve lots of vehicle activity due to constant work in progress and non standard complex procedures on a regular basis. Having controlled at a couple of units I can say that it might work at some units, but not everywhere. It simple isn't safe in my opinion.
Once the staffing is cut it won't be re-introduced thats for sure.
Put bad weather and an emergency into the frame and trust me, when your work loads has doubled you would prefer to have an ATSA and an extra ATCO on duty to help!
Unlike many on this forum, I don't pontificate about things I don't know about. I've worked at a few units in the past, one of which was a busy regional where ATC did many of the ancillary tasks that controllers at some of the larger airports had no idea about. At times, when everything stacked up, there is no question that a couple more bodies would have been helpful - but we prioritsed the work and made sure that the important stuff got done properly. Yes, it was a few years ago and some things have changed - most places now have semi-automated (or nearly fully-automated) MET stations coupled to voice-synthesized ATIS systems, in my day these were completely 'manual'.

I know that all those extra vehicles out there at night are a pesky nuisance - but I guess they're out there at night because it would be too busy to try and accommodate them and the work during the day!

You think it 'simply isn't safe'. And you are quite entitled to your opinion. But I prefer to base decisions on facts and data - just as, hopefully, is the safety regulator. If you think the staffing level is unsafe for some reason, whether now or after the manning is cut at your unit, and you can show this in a tangible form, then file your MOR. You don't have to wait until things turn dangerous - if you can show (and that's not gut feeling or unsubstantiated opinion) that there is an unacceptable level of safety if things are not changed you have valid grounds to submit a report.

You may be right, once staff levels are cut they may not be re-instated. If everything is as safe as expected and meets the relevant safety targets, what's the problem? And, FWIW, at the unit I was describing earlier, staffing levels were increased on the night shifts after a reduction was made, for the very reason that we could show that there were not enough bodies to do the work that the boss wanted done.

In this business, one has to be careful not to wave the safety flag when the concern is working conditions and the like!
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