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Electronic Taxiway Navigation Signs

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Electronic Taxiway Navigation Signs

Old 8th Sep 2015, 18:48
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Electronic Taxiway Navigation Signs

Hi everyone,

My two interests are programming and air traffic control and recently I would be interested about your thoughts on this....

Electronic taxiway signs that can be configurable with messages[by ATC] such as "Hold"- this could be in conjunction with stop bars, "Change frequency to XXX.XX" and special instructions it could also display the normal signs[location, directions etc.]

Individual direction instructions to specific aircraft, for example the sign, kinda like a message board, that displays the callsign and displays the intended taxi route designated by ATC. For example, "KLM981 <<<<". This could be done by when being given a taxi route the controller simply inputs the route into a program and for example the ground radar can detect when the aircraft is near and displays the direction it needs to go. This will avoid aircraft getting lost. It could also help free up the frequencies by telling aircraft to follow, for example they could direct departing aircraft to follow the departure signs such as several of the signs say "<<<< Departures" [Which leads aircraft to the departure runway].

Just an idea and would like to know what you think.
future_atc is offline  
Old 8th Sep 2015, 20:16
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There is a very good, well-tried, system which provides all that you suggest. It's called radio.
HEATHROW DIRECTOR is offline  
Old 8th Sep 2015, 20:19
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I don't know about other parts of the world but when busy, it was eyes out the window and almost non stop talking. No time to be looking down at electronic controls. Often aircraft would be given a taxi route only to have it changed on the way as other aircraft joined the flow. Sometimes more than once. Added to that, there is the requirement for pilots to read back instructions. How would that work?

To make your system work, I think it would need a lot more taxiways with multiple threshold holding points.

HD dead right.
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Old 8th Sep 2015, 20:24
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HD is partially right.

I thought it worked in conjunction with a lighting operator... 'follow the greens'
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Old 8th Sep 2015, 20:32
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Electronic Taxiway Navigation Signs

I'm still waiting on someone to invent a more efficient wheel, to be honest...
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Old 8th Sep 2015, 21:08
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Thank you, cough. It's good to have a bit of a nod in one's direction ...even if one is currently going in a different direction
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Old 8th Sep 2015, 21:35
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Cough... Heathrow Lighting Ops were miracle workers and they saved my bacon many, many times. Great lads and lassies I was privileged to work with.
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Old 27th Sep 2015, 16:57
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@fuji; future_atc was talking about signs outside the aircraft next to taxiways, not in the cockpit, so with eyes correctly 'outside', you would see the signs.

@future_atc; Don't be disheartened, I think it is an interesting idea. I have often wondered whether some ground movements could be "automatic" like public roads are, for example with traffic lights and the give way protocols we have at T junctions and roundabouts. (There are millions of barely skilled motorists out there who manage to negotiate this system without any input from an ATC type agency at all.) The 'follow the greens' system at airports is a very successful case in point, and they worked brilliantly at Heathrow - (probably still do but I don't fly there now).

Last edited by Uplinker; 27th Sep 2015 at 17:08.
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Old 27th Sep 2015, 18:59
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Sounds like more things to go wrong.........More potential holes in the 'Swiss-cheese'.
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Old 27th Sep 2015, 21:30
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There have been a few ideas like this before; particularly to have a matrix sign at the runway holding point, where the callsign of the aircraft with a line up clearance on the electronic strip system would be displayed. This would be in an effort to prevent aircraft lining up in the wrong order, and perhaps to mitigate the stop bar being dropped in error or left dropped after the last departure.

So rather than just having voice clearance by day, and voice and stopbar/AGL by night, add in a third method; so you have voice, stopbar/AGL and matrix sign feed from controller's strip display.

There are probably too many issues and hazards that come wtith it, but I think it's an interesting idea.
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