NATS, the UK’s foremost provider of air traffic services, has signed a contract to supply an advanced 10 position Radar Data Processing and Display System to TAG Farnborough Airport, Europe’s leading business aviation facility and home to the Farnborough International Airshow.
Iain Harris, Engineering Director at NATS, said: “We are very pleased to continue our long standing relationship with TAG Farnborough Airport, with this contract closely following the upgrade to the Emergency Voice Communications System, which NATS was involved in just last year.”
Roger Walker, Director Airport Operations, TAG Farnborough Airport, said: “We are committed to utilising the best available technology and working with partners such as NATS to ensure that we operate the airport efficiently and to the highest standards. This new system will be fully operational by summer 2014, in time for the Farnborough International Airshow, when we will have the privilege of showcasing the airport to a worldwide audience.”
Under this contract, NATS will provide programme and engineering management, system configuration and safety case capabilities, ensuring that the system is active in early 2014 in order to meet all operational requirements.
NATS has contracted technology company, Indra Navia, for the supply of the system following recent successful contracts at Humberside, Birmingham and Manchester airports.
TAG Farnborough Airport hopes to introduce new measures to reduce noise around the site.
The airport intends to submit an Airspace Change Proposal (ACP) to the UK Civil Aviation Authority so that nearby residents will not be disturbed by noise as frequently.
TAG has received 220 complaints to date this year regarding aircraft that are noisy, flying low or not appearing to be flying on the correct paths.
Residents from Mytchett, Farnham, Church Crookham and Farnborough have all lodged complaints during 2013 about noisy and low planes.
The airport currently operates within an uncontrolled air space, which is shared with other airports, so aircraft often have longer or less direct routings and a less predictable descent or climb in or out of the airport, causing more aircraft to fly low over houses.
Around 25,000 flights are currently handled by TAG Farnborough Airport each year, and it now has the permissions to increase the amount of in going and out going flights to 50,000 by 2019.
The airport is proposing to create elements of a controlled airspace so there is a more predictable flow of air traffic, resulting in fewer flights at a low altitude and aircraft flying fewer track miles around the airport. Planes will also be able to climb higher more quickly, so they don’t pass over as many houses, and will remain higher for longer.
Brandon O’Reilly, chief executive of TAG Farnborugh Airport, said the proposal demonstrates the airport’s commitment to the local community.
The initial plans for the proposal were developed last October and the airport is currently preparing to engage with aviation stakeholders and local resident groups to receive feedback on the design options.
The consultation for the proposal is expected to last around 12 weeks before the application is submitted to the UK Civil Aviation Authority.
Andrew Lloyd, chief executive of Rushmoor Borough Council, said: “The council has long supported TAG’s desire to achieve controlled air space in and around the airport and recognises the benefits that it will bring, both to the airport and also to local residents.
“They will be able to manage operations more effectively and minimise the impact on local residents.”
The airport previously introduced a new measure to manage noise at the airport in January, after receiving more than 400 complaints between 2011 and 2012.
Since then, any aircraft that do not meet the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) ‘Chapter IV’ standard, the ICAO’S strictest and quietest classification, have been banned from using the airport.
Miles Thomas, environment manager at TAG Farnborough Airport, said: “By enforcing the highest existing standard, we have taken an industry-leading approach to phasing out all but the most modern and quietest categories of jet aircraft.
“As outlined in our master plan, we are committed to minimising noise in and around the airport and will continue to work with our neighbours and experts to identify ways of making further improvements.”