Copperchase ATC Tower refit for Leeds Bradford International Airport
Copperchase, the UK-based Air Traffic Engineering and Data Systems suppliers, are pleased to have worked with Leeds Bradford International Airport (LBIA) on their ATC Tower refit in 2005.
In mid-2004, a contract was awarded to Copperchase for the ATC Tower refit at LBIA. The contract involved the supply of a Voice Communications Control System (VCCS), ATC furniture and an Emergency Handset System (EHS).
Copperchase took the approach that all parties involved in the contract were effectively stakeholders and that each of these “stakeholders” had key roles to play, with some of the activities being critical to ensure the LBIA criteria of minimal interruption was achieved.
The stakeholders – LBIA (customer), Copperchase (prime contractor/project management), Schmid (supplier – VCCS), Alusett (designers/builders – ATC furniture), NATS (provider VCCS – safety case), Keltel (EHS System) – attended an initial review and planning meeting to agree the project strategy.
Along with the Initial design proposals for both the VCCS and for Control Desks that would address LBIA Operational and Safety Requirements, agreement was reached in respect of project responsibilities, communication strategies and reporting priorities.
This was the first of regular meetings that took place during the course of the project, which served to monitor progress, agree procedures and address any issues. The Air Traffic Engineering staff at LBIA, led by Steve Scott (Senior ATE), and Steve Murphy from ATC, contributed valuably to the project with a high degree of commitment, technical knowledge and flexibility.
The agreed project strategy was firstly to install the Schmid VCCS, which consisted of main equipment racks and desk equipment (installed in temporary housings on the existing desks) comprising touch screens and controller positions.
This enabled the existing Radio Distribution and Control Equipment (RDCE) to remain in operation and, following cut over, to act as a fall-back resource in the event of problems and negated the need to attempt major modifications to the existing desks and unnecessary disturbance of operational systems.
Secondly, to obtain CAA-SRG approval for the VCCS and commission it into operational service, a “bedding in” and familiarisation period was scheduled to allow ATC confidence to develop in the new system.
Thirdly, the way was prepared for the desk installation and the final integration of retained and new ATM systems.
This third phase was greatly assisted by the production, by LBIA ATEs, of an Equipment Audit Document, which allowed Project Plans to be formulated and also assisted in the location of existing cable accesses to the VCR, thereby enabling removal of redundant cables and reducing the potential for delay when the desk installation took place.
Following approval of the Project Plans by CAA-SRG, the implementation stage was initiated.
It was planned to install the VCR desk over three consecutive nights during ATC close-down. This involved:
- Phased removal of the old desk / installation of new desk
- Removal of existing RDCE equipment and associated cabling
- Permanent installation of VCCS
- Removal and replacement of existing systems
- Safeguarding of critical operational systems.
The bulk of the project was completed over two nights, leaving the final night to tidy up any issues that came to light and make minor changes to desk layouts.
All critical project stages were achieved with a minimum of disruption to LBIA ATC operation.
The stakeholder team approach to project management enabled the contract to be completed with minimum disruption to operations and Copperchase is pleased to have had the opportunity to work with LBIA on this prestigious project.