Just when I thought the government couldn’t get more stupid, I read this:
Manned air traffic control towers to become obsolete by allowing airports to be controlled miles away using live streams of high-definition video.
From 2019, the controllers for Docklands airport, East London, will be a bank of HD screens, in a digital control room at the UK’s national air traffic control service, in Swanwick, Hampshire. 80 miles away.
Some 80,000 flights used Docklands airport in 2014.
London City Airport have received planning permission to expand the airport, with a parallel taxi lane and an extended terminal to welcome 6.5m passengers per year by 2025.
So my question now is what happens when the electricity goes off, they get hacked, there is a terrorist attack, or the software goes wrong. Strikes at NATS are not unknown either.
Eyes on to me has got to be the one rule when dealing with aircraft movements.
After all will their high def screens pick up low flying birds, debris, or fuel leaks?
It’s claimed they can see drones. Well bully for them only drones come in all sizes the pico version weighing ounces and less than 4 inches across. Too small to make a difference? Can you guarantee that? Plus you’ve got the expertise of the personnel, the local knowledge, the gut feeling sort of thing.
This will be a disaster waiting to happen.
The only saving grace is it will happen on London, Sadiq Khan’s patch, and not somewhere more important.