Digital first for London airport

London City Airport has approved the development of a new digital air traffic control tower, which will be the first of its kind in the UK.

Plans for the tower include the deployment of 14 high-definition cameras - alongside two pan-tilt-zoom cameras -, intended to provide 360-degree, detailed views of the airfield and runway. Data from the devices will be sent via a secure network to London City’s new operations room at the NATS control centre, situated in Swanwick, Hampshire.

The project is being developed in partnership with Saab Digital Air Traffic Solutions, whose technology is already in use at Örnsköldsvik and Sundsvall airports in Sweden.

According to London City, through this, controllers will have access to real-time intelligence, enabling them to build an “augmented reality live view of the airfield.” This will include weather information, radar data, and aircraft call signs. They will also be able to track moving objects.

Speaking of the new control tower, CEO of London City Airport Declan Collier said: “A pioneering new digital air traffic control system will enhance safety and improve resilience, setting a new standard for the global aviation industry to follow. With London City Airport’s plans to grow - and an existing tower which is reaching the end of its operational lifespan - this cutting edge, proven, technology future-proofs our air traffic control for the next 30 years and beyond.”

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