Air Traffic Control To Go 100% Digital?

Air Traffic Control To Go 100% Digital?

Being an air traffic controller is said to be one of the most stressful jobs you can do. So maybe it's better that British airports are considering moving to an "all digital" model for managing its airspace.

Swedish defence and security company Saab are pioneering the approach with new technology, cameras and sensors that could make traditional control towers obsolete. Cameras sharper than the human eye would relay information from the runway to a remote control room. The technology has recently been showcased at the Farnborough International Airshow.

Although it may sound slightly unsettling to nervous fliers, the system would still require some kind of human presence to monitor what's going on - perhaps just one or two staff instead of a whole tower packed with people. Plus, the level of communications and security encryption in such systems - similar to that currently used for military communications - will make them almost impermeable to hacking.

Digital towers are already under trial at Cork and Shannon airports in Ireland. B
ritain's air navigation service provider NATS has confirmed it is considering a number of potential digital projects in the UK. Several major airports across Europe are also looking into using the systems, Saab has said.

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