3 Oct 2013

Airport invests in the latest Air Traffic Control Technology

DATE: 03-10-13

Newcastle International Airport has made a significant investment in new safety technology, a Wide Area Multilateration (WAM) system which has been certified by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The high tech system ensures that Newcastle International Airport uses the most up-to-date and advanced technology replacing conventional Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR) equipment. The new system supports the airport’s primary radar and helps the airport deliver Air Traffic Control services across the region’s airspace.

WAM relies on five individual radar sites, four of which are located across the North East in Alnwick, Otterburn, High Spen and Sunderland. The system gathers information from aircraft such as the aircraft’s identification and altitude and receives replies at all of the sites. This allows the system to accurately fix the position of the aircraft within Newcastle Airport airspace and pass this information onto Air Traffic Controllers on the ground.

It covers airspace from Newcastle International’s runway out to 90 Nautical Miles (NM) in range which equates to 25,000 square miles of coverage up to 50,000 feet.

Richard Knight, Operations Director at Newcastle Airport, said: “This is an important project which ensures that Newcastle International Airport has the best available technology. We’ve worked closely with ERA, an international company credited with the invention of the WAM technology and we’re delighted that the system has been accredited by the CAA.

“This, alongside significant investments such as a new Instrument Landing System (ILS) and ongoing investment in the Air Traffic Control Tower, demonstrates the airport’s commitment to safety and progress.”

WAM is the latest in SSR technology which is fully compliant with the Single European Skies initiatives, approved by the CAA for use at Newcastle. It is wind farm tolerant, offering less interference from wind turbines due to the geography of receiving sites.