TNZ Stop dreaming and go
TNZ Stop dreaming and go

World First: London City Airport Introduces Remote Air Traffic Control

London City Airport is leading the way in futurist air travel by becoming the first major international airport to control air traffic from a tower more than 112kms away.

London City Airport is leading the way in futurist air travel by becoming the first major international airport to control air traffic from a tower more than 112kms away.

From digital health passports to contactless check-in, tech really is changing the way we travel.

London City airport is breaking the mould of traditional air traffic control by introducing a new way of fully managing air traffic using a digital tower over 112km away, and taking the medal for the first international airport in the world to do so.

Say whaaat?

“How does it work?” You might be thinking.

Well, a new 50m-tall tower has been built at the airport, equipped with 16 high-definition cameras and sensors mounted on the mast. These capture a 360-degree view of the City Airport airfield, which will feed video and audio back to the remote-control centre, located in Hampshire, where air traffic controller NATS is based.

A dedicated team of controllers will then use the live footage, an audio feed from the airfield and radar information to instruct aircraft movements in and out of the airport.

Alison Fitzgerald, Chief Operating Officer at London City Airport said: “We are immensely proud to become the first major international airport to adopt this pioneering technology.”

“This investment in smart infrastructure will help us meet future growth in passenger demand, improve air traffic management and give us enhanced capability as aviation bounces back from the pandemic.

“It is also a demonstration of the commitment to innovation in the UK aviation sector and to being at the forefront of defining the future of flight,” she said.

London City Airport
London’s City Airport

This move marks a big step for the aviation industry, where planes are generally instructed to take off and land by operators based in the airport.

Alison FitzGerald says the remote tower aims to improve efficiency and safety.

According to a report by Sky News, cybersecurity expert Holly Williams said there are some security risks with controlling air traffic remotely, but they can be managed by ensuring a rigorous testing process is implemented.

In the rare event of a system failure, Alison FitzGerald said “there’s always a back up”.

Terrific or terrifying? What do you think of this new move? Let us know – email [email protected].