World's First VCF Introduced at Heathrow

Atg Airports

Category: Air Traffic Control Systems | 07/04/2010 - 03:42:11

Working alongside NATS, BAA and a number of specialist contractors, atg airports have helped develop the world's first fully certified Virtual Contingency Facility (VCF) at Heathrow Airport.

Designed as an exact working replica of the current Visual Control Room, the VCF provides a fully operational environment for the ATC staff should contingency measures need to be implemented. With the introduction of T5 and the increase in flight traffic that the new terminal brings, 3 ATC positions are required in order to safely control all aircraft in and around the airport.

Heathrow VCF

The previous contingency arrangements would only be able to support 10% of the airports flight traffic, however, the introduction of the VCF will allow the airport to operate up to 70% of the flights if the main ATC was deemed to be out of operation, vastly reducing the disruption to the thousands of passengers who pass through Heathrow every day.

Despite the VCF's ability to be operated as an exact replica of the current VCR, the facility will primarily be used as a training facility for all ATC staff as a fully functioning VCR simulator. As part of the facility, an adjoining input room allows for any number of complex training scenarios to be run/created as part of on going controller preparation and familiarisation with the VCF.

atg SmartControl System

As one of the world's leading airports, Heathrow has to continually undergo modernisation in order to provide customers with an improving level of service each and every time they travel. The atg SmartControl system, the current AGL control system at Heathrow, will need to implement continuous developments in order to keep up with these changes and endeavour to work with BAA for the foreseeable future.