London City airport swaps control tower for digital cameras 

London’s City airport is replacing its air traffic control tower with zoomable cameras worked from a base in Hampshire, according to reports.City, a small business-focused airport tucked into the capital’s Canary Wharf district (aircraft landing from, or departing to, the west of the airport actually fly between the area’s skyscrapers) will close down its tower’s visual control room and replace it with a 50m tall digital version.This will be provided by NATS (the company formerly known as National Air Traffic Services) and will be remotely manned from a hub in Swanwick, Hampshire, according to the Guardian.“From 2019, the controllers’ window over the Docklands’ skyline in east London will be a bank of HD screens,” the newspaper reported, adding that the full 360 degree view from the City VCR has been compressed to a 225-degree arc, allowing NATS controllers to view the entire runway and apron area from a normal seated position without needing to turn around.One big feature of the new digital control room is the “augmented reality” ability to overlay the screens with live aircraft information – Flight Simulator players of old will recall the little information tag next to each in-game aircraft. Combined with radar return data, this allows unidentified aircraft – such as drones – to be easily picked out.

Source: London City airport swaps control tower for digital cameras • The Register

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