London’s Biggin Hill Airport (Stand 230) is an important location for business aviation operators going to and coming from the Middle East, who will be glad to know that the airfield has recently upgraded its air traffic control voice communication control system (VCCS) to enhance ATC performance and integration, especially during emergency situations.
Designed and produced by Micro Electronic Products in the Netherlands, the TCP990 system is a touchscreen-based system that integrates VHF and UHF channels, personnel and emergency radios, and a range of preset operational agencies into a single visual display unit. Biggin Hill has four such units installed, two at duty controller stations in the visual control room (tower), one at the ATC assistant’s desk, and another in the ATC engineering department that manages the system.
“VCCS replaces the old push-button and dial-up era of yesteryear, and is already proving to be a huge benefit to our ATC staff,” said Bill Robinson, Biggin Hill’s senior air traffic controller. “All their varied communication requirements are presented for touch selection in a single display at their position. This contributes to improved efficiency and helps to reduce stress.”
The system is valuable during emergencies, as it can call up a checklist of all essential contacts in the required order. It also satisfies statutory requirements for logging and recording ATC voice communications.