Sunday, 22 November 2009

Trip to the Air Traffic Control Tower

With the Progress Tests taking place this week, I haven't much time to update my blog.
We already had 3 mock exams last thursday, and I'm rather happy with my results. I got 75% in HP&L (Human Performance and Limitations, probably the most boring subject), 81% in PoF (Principles of Flight) and 95% in Performances. Still four to go, with Meteoroly and Ops being quite tough, I'm not gonna sleep much in the next few days.

Anyway, BCFT organised a trip to the control tower this morning, and although I don't really like getting up early on a sunday morning, I was quite excited about it. We had to walk from the Terminal building to the ATC through a very heavy pouring rain, arrived all wet and finally made it into the control tower.

We had a chat with the controlers, the "pilots' eyes". Usually we don't talk much about them but they really do an amazing job. It's great to see the other side of the radio equipment we talk through. They now have a touchscreen equipment that came with the lighting system, where they can easily select for example runway edge lights only. Runway 26 has been fitted with a CALVERT approach lighting system, it appears on the touchscreen map and in a click you can turn it on.

And what an awesome view despite the tower being quite short. A Monarch B757 took off just 200 yards away and we were sitting at one of the best places to watch those birds flying ...

We then went down to the approach room which was just beneath us.
They also have an impressive piece of equipment there.

They receive instant meteorological information, METARs and TAFs, they can display all the SID and STAR procedures for each runway, instant wind, max wind, average 10 minutes wind and all kinds of relevant stuff for controlers and pilots, along with of course several radar screens where you can follow the pattern of any aircraft over the UK.

1 comment:

Mansi Saini said...

Well Air traffic has increased a lot since past few years and also people are becoming aware of ATC day by day. So please know more about Air traffic control and spread a word about it with your children so that there comes a change to this world someday. Also you can know about the worlds tallest atc towers here.