Saturday, September 27, 2008

Global ATC

In case anyone wonders why I try to keep up with ATC in other countries and occasionally post a story about it...

Why Swanwick hit the headlines

It is possibly no surprise that when something goes wrong at the London Air Traffic Control Centre it inevitably hits the headlines.

“Richard Wright of Nats - the partially-privatised company that provides air traffic control to commercial flights in the UK's airspace - admits that Swanwick had a "difficult birth".

The centre opened six years after its planned commissioning date, in January 2002.

Nats says that the extensive delay was mainly due to problems with the software it chose to power its systems.

The plan was for Nats to use a package that was being developed as part of a huge upgrade of the US air traffic control network.

But this ran into problems - and the American project eventually collapsed. Richard Wright says this meant the software developers and Nats were left to continue alone.

Their role in picking up the pieces and bringing the software up to scratch "took much longer than planned," Mr Wright says.“

Don Brown
September 27, 2008

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