Real-time infrared cameras to track aircraft

You may take most of your air traffic control knowledge from movies such as Die Hard 2.

A baddie impersonates air traffic control and changes the ground level indicators for an incoming flight.

The plane crashes into the runway killing hundreds of passengers after John McClane makes a failed attempt, running onto the runway with flares, to redirect the plane.

Of course air traffic control in real life is a lot safer and with emerging technology being trialled at RAAF Base Amberley, virtual air traffic control towers are the way of the future.

The first thing you see on approach to any airport is the air traffic control tower.

But in years to come, they may become a thing of the past.

Virtual control towers allow air traffic controllers to be located remotely anywhere in the world.

The remote centre has large screens displaying live images and radar data captured by cameras set up around the airfield.

Staff Officer Plans, No. 44 Wing – Wing Commander David Shepherd said the demonstration at RAAF Base Amberley provided important insight and awareness of emerging Air Traffic systems technology.

“44 Wing’s focus is to deliver safe, adaptable capabilities for those who depend on us. Our support to the ‘virtual’ tower demonstration maintains our culture of technical and professional mastery in the Air Traffic Control discipline by gaining an understanding of future and evolving technologies,” Wing Commander Shepherd said.


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