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Virtual atc Cardboardvirtual

not physically existing as such but made by software to appear to do so.

When British Airways suffered a power surge at a UK data centre it affected its IT infrastructure globally causing a chaos the like of which has never been seen. This catastrophe occurred in a secure state of the art data centre with a scale of a systems failure that couldn't be resolved by simply restarting the system or bringing online a redundant backup system. An event so significant that it resulted in days of IT problems, a 4% loss in BA's share value and no doubt will result in substantial costs to BA.

London City have announced that it will have fully virtual ATC by 2019 where all aircraft and airport movements will be entirely reliant on working IT systems with controllers 100 miles away. The system could save on running costs and improve turnaround times but as the airport management pointed out 'it relies on public confidence'.

The obvious [and stated] aim would be to replace most UK ATC at airports with a virtual system and utilize 'pooled controllers' at Swanwick. Once proven the journey from concept to going live at any airfield in the UK might be measured in months, which has massive implications for current air traffic controllers. 

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