Advanced Air Traffic Control equipment which will help to support Leeds Bradford Airport in delivering increased capacity as part of its Masterplan ambitions has today been officially opened.

The airport, which sees more than 3.4 million passengers a year travelling through its doors, has invested in a range of high tech equipment in its Air Traffic Control tower and services; putting the airport at the very forefront of technology.

It has been a major three-year project and is the first integrated upgrade for 30 years to the Air Traffic Control systems, with a new refit of radar equipment, computers and the installation of a 3D Micronav simulator for advanced ATC training. In addition, the approach room has been fitted with new fixtures and fittings so that the space is fully modernised, spacious and light. New equipment includes a Radar Data Processor, as well as radar and voice recorders.

All of this activity will allow the airport’s Air Traffic Control team to support increased frequencies as a result of Leeds Bradford Airport’s ambition to grow and develop to an airport carrying 7.1 million passengers a year by 2030 – as set out in its draft Masterplan earlier this year.

John Parkin, Chief Executive at Leeds Bradford Airport, said

“This project indicates our drive to continually invest in Leeds Bradford Airport, enabling us to provide the very best services for passengers travelling through Yorkshire’s gateway airport. This investment will further help us to support increased capacity as part of our draft Masterplan proposals to deliver 7.1 million passengers a year by 2030. It’s an exciting and crucial time for Leeds Bradford as we are ambitious to provide even more choice to our customers looking to travel across the world from their doorstep.

“I’d like to thank all of the operations team members who have been involved in this project. They have maintained an exceptional service throughout, which has all taken place around everyday activity in Air Traffic Control services.”

Phil Cropper, Principal Inspector ATM of the Civil Aviation Authority, conducted the official opening. In addition, representatives of the suppliers were present, and all had tours of the Air Traffic Control tower to see the equipment in operation. This included Dr Konrad Koeck, CEO of Avibit, Paul Boydell, Managing Director of Copperchase, Jon Ardon of Osprey Consultants, as well as representatives of Thinking Space and Certisa.

Alan Siddoway, Head of Air Traffic Control services, said  “I am thrilled to see all of this equipment installed and in operation. It’s been a big team effort and this puts us at the forefront of aviation technology – helping us to keep our on-time performance high, as well as further support any increased capacity through our Masterplan proposal in the future. Safety is at the forefront of all of our activity and this work provides even more safety enhancement including conflict alert and modes at Leeds Bradford Airport.