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LCY Remote Tower

Old 25th May 2017, 18:12
  #101 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ZOOKER View Post
Historically, 'monocularly' always de-barred an applicant from holding a Class 1 aviation medical.

I believe PPLs could/can operate with this condition, as their medicals are 'Class 3'?

Now, ATCOs have Class 3 medicals, so 'Monocularity may be acceptable for an ATCO Licence application?
Funnily enough I wondered about that too. Don't know enough about the condition to know if it would be a problem for operating touchscreens etc.
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Old 25th May 2017, 18:30
  #102 (permalink)  
 
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Also, the standards of colour-vision required for the ATCO medical are possibly a relevant factor?

How accurate are the visual sensors/displays in terms of colour-fidelity?
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Old 25th May 2017, 18:36
  #103 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Uplinker View Post
I As for zooming and panning, it was claimed that any 4 pixel object such as a helicopeter or drone could be tracked, how do you do that without zooming and panning...?
Thanks for your added detail.

A demo video of digital/remote tower capability - albeit some time ago - indicated automatic FOD detection warnings and the ability to automatically track anomalies without operator input.

I don't know the design spec for this project but I have seen various ways in which sun glare etc can be resolved...some are automatic adjustments others are manual (very similar in fact to lowering a blind!).

If advances in mobile phone cameras performance in low light are anything to go by then I doubt there'll be an issue with the sorts of high-end cameras selected for projects of this scope.
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Old 25th May 2017, 19:47
  #104 (permalink)  
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As a long time ATCO (retired 10 years), a current FISO and A/G Operator all over the place, I used/use binoculars a lot when operating - comes of being nosey but is the gear down, what is that aeroplane over there, is that something on the runway, etc. Presumably bins will just enlarge the pixels?
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Old 25th May 2017, 20:42
  #105 (permalink)  
 
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Uplinker - wise words indeed.
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Old 25th May 2017, 22:19
  #106 (permalink)  
 
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High-end cameras and displays will obviously incur high-end costs.

Back in the 1960/70s, I worked at a non-state airfield which has a 3 storey ATC facility.

When the airfield opened, the 'low-level' VCR wasn't a problem, but as the terminals expanded, the view out of the windows became more and more restricted.

The last time I visited the VCR, prior to the introduction of a new, taller structure, the VCR looked like a TV studio control-gallery, and the ATCOs were not happy bunnies.

In the early days, one of the cameras was aimed into the rising sun, to look at the 28 holding-point, and it did an 'Apollo 12'. The tels guys who installed the system were not happy bunnies.
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Old 26th May 2017, 06:49
  #107 (permalink)  
 
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Serves them right Z - they should have set it up like the TfL cameras that shut off when pointed at the MI6 building - I'm sure someone could write a prog to follow the sun :-)

I'll bet most ATCO's could tell a story about new kit that did something the boffins hadn't thought of. Just look how many software revisions there have been to Windows 10 already.

I can see remote stuff working at places like City, simply because there's only one runway & standard in/out tracks. However, If I look back to the days of the Flying College @ EGPK, the thought of it in use at those traffic levels worries me somewhat !

Last edited by Eric T Cartman; 26th May 2017 at 09:31.
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Old 27th May 2017, 15:08
  #108 (permalink)  
 
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Just thinking about the remote/digital tower concept in the light of today's problems that are affecting "The World's Favourite Airline".

According to some observers, today's problems could be the result of cost-cutting' and the outsourcing of 'in-house' IT systems.

Given the present trend at NATS for outsourcing, globalisation, alliances and cost-cutting, could such a scenario as has befallen BAW affect r-TWR ops?

At least when 9020 went pop, as it did, we could keep the service going, a bit.

Yesterday I watched the video from the 'EGLC Virtual VCR' at Swan Wick and I was stuck by the difference in image colour/contrast across the 'windows'.

The day before, the r-TWR system was discussed at some length, with 3 other retired NATS staff, with about 130 operational years between us.......And we still couldn't get our heads around it!

We agreed collectively that one day, about 20 years in the future, some management whizz-kid might think.....'Hang on, what if we put the ATCOs in a 'purpose-designed structure', which is actually AT the airfield?
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Old 27th May 2017, 15:27
  #109 (permalink)  
 
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Shame it never happened before I hung up my headset - might have had the opportunity to match our GM, and work from home!
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Old 27th May 2017, 15:34
  #110 (permalink)  
 
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Nice work if you can get it TCAS.

the last AME I used did just that. His 'surgery' was in his front room. He said it's brilliant this set up, about the best job I've ever had......And, all my patients are usually in the best of health to boot!
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Old 27th May 2017, 17:09
  #111 (permalink)  
 
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Zooker - you forgot to mention the cheque for 250 quid for a half-hour's work!


Your point about a whiz kid in 20 years' time - I was just about to say exactly the same - in each case, essentially change for the sake of change, oh, and brownie points for personal advancement.


2 s


2 s
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Old 27th May 2017, 17:18
  #112 (permalink)  
 
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He's a super chap 2s.

One year, I needed an audiogram, and he had to ask the man next-door to stop mowing the lawn while did it.

You can't beat having a cat wandering about while you're reading the eye chart.
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Old 29th May 2017, 07:12
  #113 (permalink)  
 
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Failure is not an option -- it comes bundled with Windows. Just ask BA.
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Old 29th May 2017, 09:04
  #114 (permalink)  
 
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Vulcan Lover. I agree regarding situatioinal awareness. Very early on in my career - like 50 years ago - my training officers insisted "Get your head out the window!" I fear that this new toy will take up more ATCO working time to the detriment of the task in hand.
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Old 29th May 2017, 14:51
  #115 (permalink)  
 
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I don't think you should knock it until you've tried it VL.

Have you visited the current City VCR?
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Old 30th May 2017, 10:04
  #116 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by HEATHROW DIRECTOR View Post
Vulcan Lover. I agree regarding situatioinal awareness. Very early on in my career - like 50 years ago - my training officers insisted "Get your head out the window!" I fear that this new toy will take up more ATCO working time to the detriment of the task in hand.
Likewise when I was a trainee at Glasgow about 45 years ago; I had a Heron inbound to runway 10 and was sitting there gazing at my strips when my mentor* said 'your Heron's crashed'.
Of course it hadn't but it could have been true.
*George later became Centre Superindent at Prestwick centre.
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Old 30th May 2017, 13:12
  #117 (permalink)  
 
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VL

I couldn't care less whether you believe me or not. Curious what theories of mine you were talking about though?

Cameras aren't replacing the human eye/brain, those will still be used intensively. Cameras will be used to maximise the field of view for controllers (more so than a traditional tower can). This view can then, "at the touch of a button", be overlaid with additional information to aid situational awareness - which you yourself have said is so important.
I agree wholeheartedly that situational awareness is a key factor, as is the ability to oversee the entire movement area during routine ops. (Situational awareness becomes even more important in other situations, such as low vis, when neither the view from cameras nor the view from a traditional VCR would be sufficient.)

You could argue that the existing view could be improved by building a new traditional glass tower at the airport - and I'd agree with you.
But that new tower wouldn't readily support the additional tools which are purportedly available and indeed the further tools envisaged and under development.

I'd reiterate that digital towers are not a cheap option (although, in most cases, I would expect the capex to be less than building all but the simplest traditional tower).
Providing their redundancy and resiliency are satisfactory then I believe digital towers are a better option, especially with a view to "future-proofing".

If the proposed digital tower at LCY is deemed a success (as judged on a variety of criteria - the most important of which is of course safety) it will be interesting to see what the uptake of digital towers is after the first few entrants into this brave, new world. It will also be interesting to see where other airports decide to locate them (on-site or remote). But those are choices, as indeed is building a traditional VCR, when a new tower is required.

The operating efficiencies envisaged "down the line" by the ANSP are, in this case, a long, long way off IMHO.

But only time will tell.
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Old 30th May 2017, 13:27
  #118 (permalink)  
 
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Let's face it chaps and chappeses, good egg, however much experience he has, has apparently been brainwashed into believing remote towers are a good thing, which I admit they might be for less busy airfields, but most of us have the 'natural' scepticism and caution of an experienced Air Traffic Controller when it comes to such a radical change in the way we do things.
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Old 30th May 2017, 15:13
  #119 (permalink)  
 
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I can't imagine having information overlaid on the field of view. This whole thing is going bananas... but I expect someone is doing very nicely out ot it!
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Old 30th May 2017, 15:56
  #120 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
Let's face it chaps and chappeses, good egg, however much experience he has, has apparently been brainwashed into believing remote towers are a good thing, which I admit they might be for less busy airfields, but most of us have the 'natural' scepticism and caution of an experienced Air Traffic Controller when it comes to such a radical change in the way we do things.
I'm sure every ATC technological development over the years has been challenged by ATCOs from the existing and previous eras. A difference now is that, alongside the painstaking detailed analysis undertaken by ATCOs as part of safety management, it's also done, haphazardly, via social media.
People have opinions and now have an easily-accessible outlet for them (me included btw).
I'm certain though that a lot of people type before they think/investigate - it's easy to do, especially if you have an emotive response to a subject and/or limited access to relevant information.

Challenge is good though. Every new technology should be challenged. New technology can introduce benefits and risks. No one should blindly accept that new technology is better - indeed it would be foolish too.

How much each person understands those benefits & risks - and their associated management and mitigation - will shape their opinion of the new technology.

I don't consider that I have been brainwashed. I have sought out information, asked questions, considered responses and made my own assessment.

My assessment and your assessment are different.
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