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New Prestwick ATC Centre Obsolete Before it Opens: IPMS

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New Prestwick ATC Centre Obsolete Before it Opens: IPMS

Old 18th Aug 2001, 16:32
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The Guvnor
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Exclamation New Prestwick ATC Centre Obsolete Before it Opens: IPMS

From today's Scotsman:

Fears over future of new air traffic centre

UNIONS have warned that Scotlandís new air traffic control centre could be left obsolete as work started yesterday on the scheme at Prestwick.

The Ayrshire centre, which will open in 2007, is being built to help cope with an expected surge in air traffic from two million flights a year to three million by 2010. Staff at the new centre, which is now expected to cost less than the originally quoted £400 million, will be increased by 170 to 700.

However, air traffic controllers fear problems at the UKís other new centre, near Southampton, could lead to Prestwick being fitted with less sophisticated equipment to ensure it opens on time.

They are concerned that the move could threaten the long-term competitiveness of the site because the number of European centres is planned to be cut from 16 to just five or six.

The IPMS union, which represents controllers and engineers at Prestwick, welcomed yesterdayís ceremony as the first tangible signs of a new centre after years of delay.

But Jim Eagles, the chairman of the centreís joint union committee, said it must not become the poor relation of the other centre at Swanwick, which is due to open in January to replace a centre in London.

He said: "The level of equipment at the new Prestwick centre may not be state-of-the-art or compatible with Swanwick.

"It was originally planned to modify the software at Swanwick for use at Prestwick, but in an attempt to avoid the problems being encountered at Swanwick, a much less sophisticated system may be chosen. Our concern is that if it is done too much on the cheap, it will have a limited lifespan."

A NATS spokesman said the choice of technology for Prestwick remained undecided.

He said: "We want to ensure Prestwick has the most appropriate equipment and are still looking at what is available."

The spokesman said it would have to cut spending by 19 per cent over the next five years, which was "challenging but achievable".

Alastair Dalton Transport Correspondent
Saturday, 18th August 2001
The Scotsman
 
Old 18th Aug 2001, 18:06
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Red face

If the present operating system is simply moved to new premises it stands the greatest chance of success , and opening on schedule. It will also have one distinct advantage over the 'new' centre at Swanwick. It will work.
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Old 19th Aug 2001, 14:11
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Is that obsolete or obsolescent Guv?
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Old 19th Aug 2001, 22:29
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Question

Staff at the new centre, which is now expected to cost less than the originally quoted £400 million, will be increased by 170 to 700

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, but there's the rub......where the "H" do NATS think they are going to get ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY more controllers from ??
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Old 20th Aug 2001, 01:11
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Wink

Their airports contracts...
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